Video Review: En Vogue “Give It Up, Turn It Loose”

In black-and-white, a young woman shakes her laundry over a beauty salon. A young man gets out of his car and talks with his another man about his engine trouble. Two nuns walk on the sidewalk. A fortysomething man wipes the sweat off his forehead with his handkerchief. Two teenage young women draw on the sidewalk. Campaign signs for John F. Kennedy hang outside the local businesses.

Maxine greets the thirtysomething man at the salon. He takes her coat and she joins Dawn, Terry, and Cindy. Three twelve-year-old girls play jump rope. A ten-year-old runs by and gets tangled. He runs off and stands against a building. Dawn spritzes some perfume on her neck.

Cindy and Maxine talk to the other women getting their hair done. A ten-year-old girl tells the stylist how she would like her hair. The women compliment Maxine on her hairstyle. The ten-year-old girl hugs her grandmother outside. Maxine reads the latest issue of Vogue. A stylist sets out the nail polish on the table.

The ten-year-old girl plays Hopscotch. The grandmother taps her husband it’s time to go. He leaves his game of chess and walks with his wife.

A framed photo of Maxine, Cindy, Terry and Dawn hangs next to a “everyone is welcome” sign on the wall. They began to move their arms in the photo.

They read over the magazine while the stylist sweeps the floor. A second stylist turns Maxine in her chair. Maxine fluffs her hair as she looks in the mirror. A salesman walks into the salon and the grandmother turns him away. She tells the ten-year-old girl to run off and play. The young man looks into the window and tips his hat to Maxine. Maxine grins. They continue to flip through the magazine.

Rating: 5/5

Change was inevitable. Last year, four college students held a sit-in at Woolworth’s in North Carolina. Cindy and her husband were denied a home. Maxine’s husband was searching for work but unable to find a job. Terry wanted to go college but didn’t bother to fill out the application. Dawn saved up her money, hoping she could get leave the South and find a better job. While the protests and speeches were gaining momentum, they could only hope things could improve. They were praying for John F. Kennedy to win the election. Neither had the right to vote.

At the beauty salon, they hung out and talked. Maxine often read the “everyone is welcome,” knowing it wasn’t reciprocated in another part of town. If they ventured a couple blocks over, it meant they had run over to use the bathroom or eat. They were limited in options and were threatened daily with losing whatever little they did have.

The stylist discusses current events and King’s latest speech. Maxine admires the fashion in Vogue but wishes she could see herself represented in it. The women were white with slender bodies and long, blonde hair. It was as though she didn’t exist.  Maxine closes the magazine and decides to join the movement to gain her rights. An election in their favor isn’t guaranteed. She can no longer sit at the beauty salon and wait.

Director: N/A Year: 1992

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit , Greatest City Collective & 45 Magazine and forthcoming in Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kristofia anthology.

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