Wednesday, December 21, 2011

DOES BEING PRETTY AND WELL GROOMED SELL PILATES SESSIONS?

I recently got hired as a Pilates instructor at a large and chi chi health club. Management asked me if I would offer free demos to their members, introduce them to the Pilates method and to meet me. Clearly this would be for those members that have been living under a rock with their heads up their asses, because, really, who doesn’t know what Pilates is? Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Tiger Woods do Pilates for crying out loud. Ooh, that wasn’t an example of me getting into the holiday spirit now was it?

I’ve done so many free friggin’ demos since I became an instructor, that it’s a bit of a soul killer to have to whore myself out again. I don’t mind whoring it out if I’m getting paid, in cash... whole other story. That being said, I took a meeting with myself, like I’m want to do, and decided to suck it up, adjust my attitude and do it. 

It has been a tough year, work wise. I started losing clients back in March, and I haven’t really picked up any new ones. I did leave the country to teach in Dubai for two months this summer. That couldn't have been good for building a client base and continuity.

I have impeccable skills and I deliver quality Pilates instruction, with the added bonus of my kick ass personality. But the evidence doesn’t lie and I wondered what I might be doing wrong.

Perhaps I’m not attracting new clients because of my laissez-faire attitude towards beautifying myself when I teach. I know this is unimaginable when I say that perhaps my winning personality isn’t enough. I know, I can’t believe it either. Could my client drought actually be because I don’t wear make-up, shower frequently, or blow dry my hair before I hit the Pilates studio or gym?

I’ve always felt that I shouldn’t have to succumb to such shallow and superficial practices. I choose to sit comfortably crossed legged on my high horse, espousing ditties such as, “Like me for who I am, and how I can help your horrible posture. Don’t like me because my hair is long and luxurious. My work speaks for itself.” Aren’t I adorable and misguided.

It was the same way when I lived in L.A. and auditioning. I wanted to believe that people would hire me based on my f’in talent alone. I never worried about whether the powers that be thought I was pretty or wanted to sleep with me. I think we can all agree that my strategy was both flawed and naive.

But that was then, and this is now. What’s wrong with putting on mascara and showing just a hint of tit (men do Pilates too ya know) if it’s going to bring me paying clients? Once I’ve reeled them in, they’ll be so balled over by my teaching and humor, that I can then just roll out of bed and not brush my hair. I wanted to see if I made an effort (this means wearing unstained clothes and putting on lip gloss) would I attract more clients?

I had my first Pilates demo last night. I put on make-up as if I were going to a wedding, and I changed my clothes a half dozen times, finally deciding on a head to toe Lululemon ensemble. My Astro pants showed off my camel toe, and gave me a wedgey. Perfect. I went with a tight purple Define jacket, wearing only my bra underneath. I needed a bit of padding to help lift the sistas up onto their perch. I smoothed out my hair, and flat ironed my ponytail. However, I did not shower. It was my little secret. Between me and... me?

“Chaka, Chaka, Chaka, Chaka Khan
Chaka Kan, Chaka Kan , Chaka Kan
Chaka Khan, let rock you”  -- Sorry, it just came on my itunes.

After two long hours, just one man asked for a demo. It’s hard to say whether he was genuinely  interested in Pilates or he just likey my wedgey. I have another demo tonight, and I will whore it out again, all in the name of investigative reporting.

8 comments:

brenda said...

I'm sure it's your aware winning personality that draws them.. :-) You're words made me smile, ok and laugh, even though I know you were trying to be oh so serious. I personally never understood why women donned a face full of make up when they hit the treadmill, but could be because I don't find glistening (sweat) and smeared makeup attractive. On the outfit I agree. Work out attire has grown and comes in a wide variety of colors and can expose a variety of body parts that might attract potential... clients!?

Lynne Favreau said...

Full make-up? No way! I'd never expect an exercise instructor to be made up, but showered and dressed the part, yeah that makes sense. Of course I never get anywhere near exercise so I'm no expert.

thegirlfriendmom said...

Hey Brenda- thanks for stopping by and of course I'm tickled pick to have made you smile and laugh. I'm going to do whatever it takes to get me some clients. Pride, and morals have gotten me bubkis!


Lynn-
You're funny... never get anywhere near exercise! Now that made me laugh. Thanks for stopping by.

Keesha said...

I hated that part about selling oneself to clients, which is part of the reason I don't teach Pilates anymore. I found that my best market was older people with severe anatomical issues who wanted slow detailed sessions, not people who came in because they heard somewhere Pilates would give them Jennifer Aniston's ass.

More power to you. And yes, these days you do have to be a lululemming. I do love their stuff - it IS like buying a new behind, but to some, if you're wearing say, champion from Target you might as well wear a trash bag.

Good luck. I'm sure you'll get some good followers, just as you have with this blog.

Astra said...

I don't trust an instructor who's made up to the max! When I go to a spinning class and the instructor is all glam, I'm tempted to walk over and see if she really is adding on that tension!! Sincerity is the key to MY repeat business.
This post was a hoot - quality instruction and kick ass personality top all!!

thegirlfriendmom said...

Oh, Keesha, it is such a racket sometimes but I'm just trying to straddle both ideas.

Astra,
Thanks for stopping by and I'm with you, if my spin instructor is in full Kabuki make-up, I am NOT going to climb up that hill that she's screaming at me to climb!

Michael Ann said...

Besides making me laugh, this post did sort of T me off too. I guess it's just a fact of life that looks matter. You are gorgeous, and I'm sure even without make-up you look great! I can't imagine what the problem is. BUT.. maybe a 1/2 way thing would be good. Just a bit of makeup, groomed hair and cute clothes. Nothing over the top. I think it's a good experiment and good luck!

thegirlfriendmom said...

First and foremost dear Michael Ann, you laughed. I know, the whole thing sucks but if I don't take it too seriously and not take it as a slight on my independence, or who I am and what my core beliefs are, then it's just a game and I can deal. Thanks for reading.