‘She flies on her own wings’

‘A tattoo tugs my mind. Not the tattoo but the meaning. ‘Alis Volat Propriisi’ which is Latin for ‘She flies on her own wings’. A girl who is the proprietor of the tattoo was in a beauty parlour in Laos. She said, she prefers to to live like a free bird which her tattoo said.   It gave a new meaning to the work I did in Laos. It’s been two weeks and I was looking for a salon to cut my hair and to do the shaving. After looking for a proper place I discovered salons and women with beauty possessions. As I never worked on the topic it was new to me. I generally know girls are obsessive about being beautiful but it was something out of my experience. I learned a makeover can change beauty within. I take permission from girls to take picture and being able to know about it. Meeting striking women from being the perfect professional and home maker to being crazy party girls it just compliments the ‘multi-tasker’ title for women. My photo series took a turn when a girl was wearing her mask on and whispered, ‘Every morning before I face the world I face myself’. I am trying to bringing out the glamazon to you and accepting the fact that wearing hearts on sleeves like woman is not easy! Isn’t it?’

– GMB Akash





It was a new territory for me. It takes time to adjust myself to take photographs in women region. Language was a barrier but already I learn few from the local language and started the conversation with the help of English. I was carrying my photography book which helped me to take permission to take photographs.




My bouncy hair and tiring traveler-raw-look scared women but whenever I showed them my book they smiled and said yes. I was very wrong in the perception that women do not bother about man’s look. They do!  And additionally they care about their look most!




Woman empowering by entrepreneurship is inspiring. A good example of entrepreneurship is parlour business. Women are working independently on the sector they preferred in Laos. Men and women are their clients. They are offering different kinds of services which varied in price and quality. From head to toe parlour offered services. It starts from beauty treatment and ends to full makeover. They offer facial, threading, waxing, massage, yoga, skin therapy, foot massage, steam bath and many services to indulge in luxury. Every parlour is busy with their clients. Few of them offer membership card and special discount to attract new clients. Parlour is a business which proved services can beat products. Every client wants better service and hardly they know about the product those parlour girls are using on them.


A woman who was receiving foot massage said, ‘It’s a healing world. It gives me a break from the tension world I live in’.




Discover beauty within is the best part of any makeover. Inner beauty brings the outer beauty and may be vice verse. A makeover is not complete until a life changing makeover is not under taken.  If an external makeover helps to bring out internal beauty then why not to indulge in this treat. Giving a break to yourself to get a new you is whole worthy, right?




Now, I back to my story. As in the beginning of this exciting photo trip, I went out to cut my hair and shave my beard in Laos. Let me speak out the truth. When I enter into a parlour then a girl arrive to cut my hair. Being a traditional Bangladeshi I was surprised and can not seat in the chair. Its naive but what to do about it! It is me! I brought out my camera in the parlour. I requested the parlour lady to allow me to take pictures. She asked me, ‘Do you want to cut your hair also?’ I wave my head right to left and then left to right. No regrets. What is more important for a photographer than a whole new set of photographs and such new experience!





9 thoughts on “‘She flies on her own wings’

  1. Really neat. What a colorful shop! We often scoff at the true importance of outer beauty, but in truth feeling “made up” on the outside really can affect the way we feel about ourselves within. It can stir something inside us… Amazing photos as always, Akash.


  2. in a way I see the difference between these photos- where you don’t speak the language/culture- and the ones where you seem to be part of the scene/culture. Thanks for the inspiration. Reg


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