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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
BY ANGELINA DIVENCENZO, East Lake High
Derek Borges, a junior at East Lake High, head held high, if not totally sure, walked into Toes Up Day Spa in Palm Harbor recently and got a facial.
He didn’t lose a bet. He was not bribed to go. He simply said yes when tb-two* offered him the chance to see what it was like to truly be pampered.
Beforehand, Borges was slightly nervous about this new experience. Reassured that no one was going to get hurt, it was just a facial, he entered a deep-blue, earthy room and was greeted by warming candles, tranquilizing scents — and classical music.
“I want to put on my own CD and have rock music, that’s a relaxing facial,” he blurted.
Classical music still playing, facialist Tracy Jaeger squeezed into the room and asked Borges if he had ever had a facial.
He was unequivocal: “No pampering experience whatsoever.”
Jaeger explained to Borges step by step what was going to happen during this 30-minute period of relaxation, then the fun began.
First, Jaeger put a stylish headband on Borges to keep his luscious locks out of the way. Next, she turned on a machine that directed steam clouds all over his face. His lips twitched as the steam began to flow harder. Once the steam ceased, Jaeger artistically folded a towel over his face and gently dried it.
Various creams and masks found their way onto Borges’ face, and cooling eye pads replaced the traditional cucumber slices. As his face mask hardened he held up his hands, a sort of “hang loose, I got this, guys!” affirmation.
The pampering continued as Jaeger massaged Borges’ hands using herb-scented lotion. His favorite part, however, was the head massage.
Jaeger sold the whole experience by slowly running her fingers through his hair to gently massage his scalp. She apologized for messing up his hair, but added with a smile that it is not a good facial if you don’t leave with somewhat ruffled hair.
During her nine years as a facialist, Jaeger said she has only given about 20 men’s facials, and this was the first time she had ever given one to a high school guy.
“I feel so rejuvenated!” Borges exclaimed, a smile spreading onto his freshly glowing face.
Would he ever get one again? “It’s a good treat, every once in awhile.”
His only worry? That everything would slip out of his liberally lotioned hands.
As he walked out of Toes Up, Borges made up his own little song. “I can take on the world!” His earlier uncertainty dashed, he offered some advice.
“I think every guy needs to experience a facial, at least once in (his) life.”