M'sian Indian Woman Accuses A Kuala Lumpur Spa Beauty Therapist Of Racism
A Malaysian Indian woman has taken to Instagram to share an alleged racist encounter with a beauty salon therapist that left her shaking
It was her first time going for a facial.
According to the woman, Roshinee Mookaiah, the incident took place on 21 May when she went for a 60-minute facial at spa in Kuala Lumpur.
At the salon, she was assigned to a beauty therapist, whom Roshinee referred to as 'V'.
While Roshinee was waiting to register, V enquired about her skin care routine.
The 29-year-old Malaysian Indian woman explained to the beauty therapist that due to her economic background in the past, this is her first time getting a facial.
"Yeah, when you walked in, and I saw your face, no offence, I could see your skin quite ugly," V allegedly replied, according to Roshinee.
Roshinee said she felt stung by V's statement, considering they had just met.
In the treatment room, Roshinee said V asked why she never got any facials done, and emphasised on the importance of getting frequent facials
Roshinee said she felt alienated and uncomfortable with V's constant questioning and shocked reactions when she once again explained why she couldn't get facials in the past.
"I should not have to repeatedly explain myself and be made to feel bad about my background and my lifestyle," she wrote.
During the pre-treatment consultation, Roshinee said the analysis of her skin showed indicators for oil, hydration, and hyperpigmentation, to which, she alleged V had "exclaimed loudly and negatively, indicating the results were very bad".
I wished she could have approached that situation more professionally with a calm or neutral reaction," wrote Roshinee.
She also she claimed that V said she had "increased but normal hyperpigmentation" because, "No offence, you are black".
"This is definitely not a sensitive way to talk about, and talk to darker-skinned individuals," she wrote.
As for the facial itself, Roshinee wished the beauty therapist had taken the time to explain to her about the pain that may come from a manual extraction
In her experience of going for other grooming treatments, Roshinee said the therapist would always give a heads up about any pain or discomfort.
When she asked V if the facials are painful, she claimed that all V said was: "We do this and you see first".
"I must credit, however, that V did pause whenever I was in pain and checked in with me throughout the procedure," Roshinee wrote.
She added that after the treatment was over, she declined to join as a member nor do a follow-up treatment and rushed back home.
"I was so shaken by the 'Your skin is ugly' comment, that I rushed back home and cried," Roshinee shared, adding that she did not remove her face mask for the rest of the day because she felt insecure.
Hoping to provide feedback to the salon and seek an explanation for the therapist's behaviour, Roshinee emailed the spa about her experience the next day on 22 May
However, after three weeks of waiting for a reply to no avail, Roshinee said she decided to post her feedback as a review on Google on 11 June.
Approximately two hours after she posted her review, she received a reply from the spa on Google. However, Roshinee said the response was disheartening and minimised the ordeal that she endured.
Later, the customer noticed that her review was deleted on the following day and said her second post of the same review on 13 June was also deleted.
Following the disappearance of her Google reviews, Roshinee said she then received a message from a woman, identifying herself as the co-owner of the spa
The co-owner allegedly requested to have a "frank and honest" phone call with Roshinee, who declined the offer and requested their exchange be via email.
"The co-owner reiterated a couple of times that they don't condone racism, yet she still did not recognise the harmful remarks by their therapist nor articulate any steps for its rectification," said Roshinee in her post.
According to the screenshots of the purported WhatsApp messages, the co-owner even asked Roshinee to provide evidence to support her claims of racism during the treatment.
The following day, on 13 June, Roshinee said she finally received a reply to her email, which she had sent three weeks ago, from the spa
Roshinee said the email from the spa acknowledged her distressing experience, but, failed to acknowledge the colourist statement or suggest solutions such as sensitivity training to rectify the issue.
"I was relieved to finally receive this email - this acknowledgement and apology were all I wanted, all this could have been resolved three weeks ago," said the customer.
However, she said she still had an issue with her Google review being removed.
"I do not and will not tolerate unkind language or future attempts to minimise my genuine experiences," she explained, adding that the purpose of the lengthy Instagram post and screenshots of her original Google review is to ensure her experience remains known.
In response to Roshinee's allegations, the spa has taken to their official Instagram account to provide their side on the matter
In two videos posted yesterday, 15 June, the co-founder of the business explained that they would never intentionally make their customers feel awkward.
"The facial bar aims to empower all women and make skincare more accessible and affordable," the co-owner said.
The co-owner then apologised for the late reply to Roshinee's review, explaining that they are still a new business.
"We wanted to make sure we did our part to investigate before acting. Rest assured we have reached out and hope to resolve this issue," she explained.
She also addressed the matter of the disappearing Google reviews, which she claimed that, as a business, she has no control over it.
"As a business page, Google doesn't allow businesses to delete the reviews to make sure that the ratings are generated fairly based on customers' experiences," the co-owner claimed.
She further claimed that reviews can only be removed by the reviewer, or by Google, if the review violates their policies.
"We are not trying to hide any negativity or the reviews on Google," added the co-owner.
For the record, Google doesn't remove reviews from business profiles on its platform unless the business themselves ask Google to remove or delete an inappropriate review.
Finally, she addressed the alleged comments made by one of their therapists
According to the co-owner, the therapist involved is Chinese-educated and has a poor command of English. However, she also acknowledged that was not an excuse to the alleged behaviour.
"This is not an excuse, we know the importance of communication and being sensitive in the service line, but we shouldn't jump to conclusions and label someone racist without any tangible proof," she said.
The co-founder then again emphasised that they are an all-inclusive establishment, and don't tolerate any form of discrimination.
"We have no intention of offending anyone... We would never intentionally make our customers uncomfortable," said the co-founder.