Over the last 3 or 4 years Lexi had successfully built her career as an Instagram influencer. Just shy of 2 million followers, brands were paying her hundreds of dollars for her posts and stories. Life was good. One day she got an offer that would change everything.
At first it seemed pretty standard. She checked her business email to see that a prominent L.A. laser hair removal service called PhotoSmooth had contacted her. The email didn’t give too many details, but it did give her an invite to the company’s office that Friday afternoon to discuss it further with the head of marketing. She had always thought about getting laser hair removal, so she agreed to meet.
Before long, Lexi stepped out of her Uber and got her first look of the place. It seemed quite impressive. It was a fairly large complex with a modernist, 3 story main building. After taking a sec to have a good look at it, she walked inside for what would become the meeting of a lifetime.
Lexi went up to the reception desk.
“Hi, I’m here for a business meeting, it’s supposed to be with the head of marketing” Lexi opened with.
“Yeah, I know who you are. Just have a seat, she won’t be more than a few minutes. By the way, the CEO will be joining you if that’s ok.” The receptionist informed her.
Lexi sat in the waiting room for around 2 minutes. Then a woman in her mid-thirties and man in his early-forties walked in and introduced themselves.
“Hi, my name is Devin. I’m the CEO of PhotoSmooth.” The man said before shaking Lexi’s hand.
“And I’m Amanda, Head of Marketing.” Said the woman before doing the same.
Devin then asked Lexi to come to his office upstairs.
The two Execs started making small talk with Lexi while Devin’s secretary set up the PowerPoint on the big screen.
“Ok, let’s get to why you’re here.” Devin said as he moved his chair aside to give Lexi a view of the screen. “Laser hair removal has been a slow, multi-session procedure that takes several weeks and reverts over time. But now, PhotoSmooth have partnered with some of the world’s leading medical technology researchers to create a new laser that has neither of these problems.” He then changes slides. “Enter, the Ultrabeam 1.0!”.
Devin then went through multiple slides explaining the science behind how it worked. Lexi didn’t understand most of it, she just sat there and nodded.
After Devin had finished the PowerPoint, he told Lexi why it was her that received the offer. “Like most lasers it works best on darker hair colors. You’ve mentioned on your Instagram that your hair colour is natural, correct?”
“Yes” Lexi confirmed, referring to her chestnut brown shade.
“Perfect!” Devin said.
Lexi was ecstatic. She was jumping inside at the thought of never having to shave her legs again. But then Amanda told her what the deal really was.
“For this new laser, we want to do something that will grab everyone’s attention, show just what it’s capable of.” Amanda said. “We want you to get your scalp lasered”.
Lexi’s jaw dropped.
“You mean, my head, lasered, bald???” A confused Lexi responded.
“Yes” Amanda said. “An influencer with a following your size going permanently bald in one sitting will both generate publicity and show everyone the power of the Ultrabeam.”
“We know that this would be an enormous sacrifice for you, so we’re offering you $1.5 million.” Devin added.
Lexi was stunned and conflicted. On one hand she obviously didn’t want to be bald forever. But on the other hand $1.5 million was a ton of cash, that was more than what Kylie Jenner made for her posts. She sat there speechless.
“Think about it over the weekend.” Devin told her. “If you want to shave your head first to get a taste of baldness we can arrange that for you with the salon of your choice.”
“Ok, I’ll get back to you. It’s just this is a lot, I’ve never done anything close to this intense!” Lexi replied. She then goes home to contemplate what she’s getting into.
After mulling over everything Devin and Amanda told her and trying out various different bald filters, Lexi talks to her friends. They have mixed feelings. Some say it’s not worth it, others say it could boost her profile. Eventually she calls Devin after making a decision.
“I think I might do it. Bring me to the salon.”
She goes to the salon to get her head shaved smooth with a straight razor. She lets her followers watch on Instagram live, but she keeps why she’s doing it a secret for now.
At the end she turns off the stream, looks in the mirror and feels her newly uncovered dome. It’s weird at first, alien almost.
But over the next few days she quickly gets used to it and grows to love it. She calls Devin again.
“Hi Devin, it’s Lexi! I’ve decided to go ahead with it!”
“Excellent!” Devin responds. “Come around next Wednesday for it.”
The next Wednesday, Lexi was back at PhotoSmooth.
Her heart races as she sits there with her safety glasses on. Memories of all the times she and her friends did each others hair, the various bad hairstyles she had growing up and all those visits to the salon went through her head as the technicians powered up the Ultrabeam. She was a little sad none of that would happen again, but she knew this was worth it in the long run.
Each shot of the laser gave her the strangest stinging sensation she had ever experienced. It didn’t hurt like she expected, it was just nothing like anything she’d felt before.
After 15 minutes it was over, the last of her chestnut brown hair was forever erased.
She sat there and smiled as she posed for the photo, which she then uploaded with PhotoSmooth tagged and the agreed upon caption.
Within a few hours it was her most liked post of all time and she gained over 3 million new followers by the next morning. Everyone was talking about her. She was going to be a star.