Fourways beauty therapist helps cyberbullied Pick n Pay cashier, melting our hearts once again amid SA's trolling crisis
This is what Johannesburg-based beauty therapist, Moipone 'Mooi' Thandeka Mokhali, told W24 when we reached out to her about her heartwarming act of kindness not too long after the county rallied and pulled resources towards the #KFCProposal couple.
In case you missed it, a picture of a Pick n Pay employee's eyebrows recently went viral on social media. The picture in question was ridiculing a woman for the way she had filled in her eyebrows, adding more traction to the classist shaming of South African cashiers' cosmetic decisions.
While Rihanna was celebrated in 2018 for ushering in a possible return of razor-thin brows when she appeared on the cover of the September issue of British Vogue, many South African women continue to be social media fodder for not having an 'Instagram-friendly' eyebrow shape.
In this case, a couple that the Pick n Pay employee had helped make a booking at the store took the viral picture.
When the post landed on social media platforms, comments and chuckles flooded the replies and the woman in the image fast became a meme. Isolated replies from social media users defending her honour were, however, not loud enough to drown out the noise of mockery - so much so that the Pick n Pay employee caught wind of the viral post.
Moipone is another person who managed to stumble upon the post that pulled at her heartstrings, prompting her to take to WhatsApp and Facebook in search of the woman in the meme.
The reason Mooi - as she's affectionately known - was that she wanted to offer micro-blading and eyelash extension services for free to the Honey Junction Pick n Pay employee.
"I usually see posts where people make fun of eyebrows, so I did not like that she was sabotaged like that. The customer took her picture without her knowing. That was bullying," says the Mooi's Beauty Lash & Brow Bar owner.
"I thought to myself, 'I’m going to do something about this'. I put up a post on my Facebook, saying I’m looking for this lady who has become a meme. [When I found her], she agreed to set up an appointment," Mooi reveals, adding that the recipient of her kind gesture was very happy with the results of her new permanent brows as well as her eyelash extensions.
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After the Nation Laughed and made her loose her self-esteem... God sent me to look for her and fix These Brows. For Goodness & God's sake, I did.. Because Kindness costs No cent??... This is her before and after #Microblading #Permanent_Brows Now she will never have to worry about drawing her Brows.. I'm happy she is Happy #Fixing_Each_others_Crowns ??#When_beauty_meets_happiness???? let's make her trend again Now Shall we????
In a video sent to W24, we see Mooi's client expressing her gratitude and joy.
"Thank you! You've made me very happy. People were talking and talking, but at least you saw the mistake and offered your helping hand to rectify it. In doing so, you haven't only helped me, but [others too]. God bless you," she says in Setswana.
Image supplied by Moipone
What social media doesn't know is that at the time when the virtual streets were mocking her eyebrows, the Honey Junction cashier was dealing with triggers of the one year anniversary of her late husband who passed away on 9 November 2018 - the same day Moipone cheered her up with her microbladed brows a year later.
"The motive behind this is not just publicity. I always talk about fixing each other’s crowns, so she just touched my soul," explains the beauty therapist. "Little did I know that she was going through a lot at the time as well and I made her day. The day of the appointment was the exact the day she lost her husband."
What Moipone wants social media users to take away from this is that we can all attempt - in whatever way we can - to "eliminate this cyberbullying", as she notes that "people even kill themselves when they are cyberbullied."
Our kind beauty therapist also further revealed that "people were even calling [her client's] manager, saying she must fix her eyebrows and as such, she had started eating her lunch alone."
Mooi became a beauty therapist three years ago, working from home and has since expanded to own her beauty bar that is located in Fourways, Johannesburg. What inspired her beauty practice was the fact that she "felt like [she] need to do something for our black sisters as well.”
She will be hosting microblading master classes as of 2020.
* Pick n Pay employee's name has been withheld to protect her privacy.
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