Sunday, February 28, 2016

And the Oscar Goes to... Toni!

Grace Kelly, l955

Because it was a school night, I was never allowed to watch all of the Oscars. The year Grace Kelly won hers for "The Country Girl" was the first. Once the precedent was set, it was Oscars ever after.

I always had a hard time staying awake to the end. They seemed longer and even more boring at times back then, but I was determined to make it. Not only were (and still are) the best awards held back till last, I had to see how the home permanent turned out.

For several years (no exact data available) Toni Home Permanents were a sponsor of the telecast. An announcer for the product would introduce a pretty young model who was going to have her hair permanently waved with a Toni home permanent during the Oscars!!! There was real excitement in his voice. The model looked like a lamb being led to slaughter.

I'd never had a permanent, home or any other. My mother and sister both hated their unruly curls. My hair was stick-straight and something to be envied. But even then I sensed the transforming power of Change.

We were treated to the work-in-progress during commercial breaks. The poor girl tried to keep a smile on her face though she was done-up in hideous rod curlers. After all the awards were given, the results would be shown to the nation, most of which had turned off their tvs and gone to bed.

I had to see for myself and pleaded for "one more minute". Sure enough the victim would be revealed in all her curly 1950s-style glory. She looked relieved. I hope she went to an after-party and not straight home.

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