We all deserve to pamper ourselves from time to time, whether it’s indulging in some retail therapy or treating ourselves to a relaxing massage or a professional nail treatment. However, not every visit to a nail salon is a happy experience. Stories abound of customers facing rude gossip or even painful incidents caused by negligence or allergic reactions to products. Unfortunately, one woman’s recent trip to a nail salon in California left her in tears and feeling ashamed due to unfair treatment she received because of her lupus condition.
Lupus, an autoimmune disease, is characterized by rashes and skin inflammation. Contrary to misconceptions, it is important to note that lupus is not contagious, even when visible rashes are present. Jennifer Dreyer Brown, who suffers from discoid lupus, which affects the skin, experienced severe rashes that worsen with exposure to sunlight.
On one of the hottest days of the year, Jennifer decided to visit Happy Nails, located in Laguna Niguel. Wearing a sundress to beat the heat, she entered the salon with the hope of enjoying a manicure and pedicure. The salon staff agreed to provide both services, and Jennifer was looking forward to a normal and relaxing pampering session.
However, unbeknownst to Jennifer, she became the subject of observation and gossip. It was only when she received her pedicure that she realized the staff had been discussing her. Then, as it was time for her manicure, she was informed that the staff only had time for a quick polish. They claimed they were too busy, even though Jennifer didn’t have any visible scars. Distraught and embarrassed by her public humiliation, Jennifer took to Facebook to share a video narrative of the incident, aiming to warn others about the unfair treatment she received at the nail salon.
“The one time I choose to go out in a sundress because it’s 110 degrees, people judge me because I have lupus and my skin is broken out. I never felt more like a leper and more judged in Orange County. I just want you to know you need to be nice to people. You don’t know what’s going on with someone on the inside or outside for that matter.”
In response to the incident, the salon’s attorney defended the workers by stating that they were in compliance with the California Board of Cosmetology’s code, which prohibits performing services on inflamed, broken, or infected skin. The attorney clarified that there was no intention to discriminate against Jennifer due to her condition, and the workers, who are hardworking immigrants, were simply following the law.
However, Jennifer has made it clear that she will never return to the salon, despite having been a regular customer in the past. She hopes that sharing her experience will raise awareness about lupus as a disease and prevent any further discrimination in the future.
Stand against Discrimination and Support Understanding
Discrimination caused by misunderstandings and lack of awareness can deeply hurt individuals dealing with health conditions. It’s essential for us to be empathetic and kind, as we never know what someone may be going through, whether internally or externally. Let Jennifer’s story remind us to treat others with respect, compassion, and understanding. It’s time to spread awareness and foster an inclusive environment for everyone.