When a photo of Beaumont, Texas Mayor Becky Ames at a local nail salon surfaced, all hell broke loose. That's because Beaumont has been on lockdown for almost a month.
The mayor left last week's council meeting to "find her phone flooded with text messages and angry social media criticism" after the picture went viral among the town after appearing on a local blog, according to The Beaumont Enterprise.
Ames signed a stay-at-home order on March 27 that included nails and hair salons as businesses that were ordered to close around the region. Ames said the photo "could make people think she was getting a manicure" but then defended herself, saying: “I did not do anything wrong. I would not be upset with anyone who I found out did this."
Instead, she says she had stopped at the salon to soak off artificial "dip" nails after they had grown out and become painful.
Ames continued to dig her hole deeper, telling a local news outlet: “Six weeks ago or more, I went to get a manicure and ended up getting the powder nails for the first time. I loved it and it looked great, but as they grew out I started looking like a witch. I tried to take them off and texted the lady that did them, who is the owner of the salon, to ask what to do.”
She said the salon wasn't open but the owner said she would mix some solution to be picked up. A photo was taken while she was "soaking her nails to learn how to take them off," Ames says.
The mayor says she was at the salon for just 10 minutes before going to the Beaumont City Council meeting. She said she was able to remove half the dip nails in that time.
Ames said she didn't realize someone was taking her photo. The salon owner backed up the mayor's story and told the employee, who snapped the photo, not to return to work. Ames and the owner both said she did not pay for the solution that was used.
“The owner said she has a lot of ladies that need to get their nails off, so she’s set this out for them. A lot of hairdressers have left color out for someone to come pick up. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as you’re social distancing,” Ames concluded.