If your lifestyle and job permit you to abide by stay-at-home orders, there are still several destinations you can visit: your bathroom, your bedroom, your local supermarket. The nail salon is sadly not one of those places, as it can entail crowding, touching, and sneezing at the chemicals in your base coat. Maybe an exception can be made for the Texas mayor who reportedly crept through the back entrance of a virtually empty nail salon to remove her old manicure in the dark — but that remains to be seen.
NBC News reports that last week the mayor of Beaumont, a town in southern Texas, apologized after she was photographed at a nail salon, seemingly violating the state’s stay-at-home order (the state order went into effect on April 2, but Jefferson County had already issued its own order on March 21). On Tuesday, Mayor Becky Ames visited a closed salon called the Nail Bar, where she was photographed seated at a table wearing a face mask and soaking her hands in a bowl of liquid.
The image was shared on Instagram, prompting Ames to comment on the spectacle. She told local NBC affiliate 12News that she went to the nail salon to remove an old manicure, which required acetone. She insisted she was the only person in the salon aside from its owner, that the process only took ten minutes, and that she didn’t get her nails painted. She also says she entered through the back door, which was left open for her, and the salon was dark. The owner of the store said that surveillance footage corroborates Ames’s version of events. Even so, the brief trip would seem to directly violate the state’s order, which requires residents of Texas to minimize in-person contact with people who are not in their household, and explicitly lists “cosmetology salons” among the businesses citizens should temporarily avoid.
On Thursday Ames released a statement in which she called the trip to the salon a “lapse in judgment.” She continued, “I did not intend to take personal privilege while asking others to sacrifice and for that I am truly remorseful.”
Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick told 12News on Friday that he’s instructed the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office to investigate whether the mayor’s nail-salon trip constitutes a violation of stay-at-home orders. A violation could result in a fine of up to $1,000.