“Remember, Chiyo, geisha are not courtesans. And we are not wives. We sell our skills, not our bodies. We create another secret world, a place only of beauty. The very word “geisha” means artist and to be a geisha is to be judged as a moving work of art.” ― Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha)
I recently watched a documentary about Geishas and couldn´t help but notice the similarities (and of course many differences with the work I do).
In the documentary, a young woman explains how she got fascinated with the idea of wearing a kimono every day and how she found online the Geisha job that she took. It takes us through the amount of training that these women go through, but, do you know what a Geisha is and what is it they do?
Geishas are deeply respected cultural performers, they are hostesses trained in traditional Japanese arts such as dance, classical music (singing and playing shamisen), calligraphy, poetry, tea ceremony, Ikebana (art of flower arrangement), games and the art of entertaining and conversation.
They are hired for parties, normally with a minimum of two of them, and they entertain their guests, who are male, with all those skills, that can take a long time to learn.
In the western world, there has been some confusion about what the geisha does, as
she has been connected to the idea of something sexual, as this could be seen in some old movies and also because during and after World War II, because the Geisha was a national symbol of elegance and beauty, some women would offer themselves to soldiers calling themselves "Geishas", and so this misconception was spread. There have also been situations and specific context where in rural areas poorer Geishas became sex workers, but is not (as far as my research has gone) what a Geisha is by definition, and more what some circumstances made this change for some of them. Geisha is the perfect hostess.
Geishas, also called Geikos in Kyoto, create a world of imagination where every aspect and detail is taken care of: the way they dress and do their makeup, the sounds, the drinks (and sometimes food), the textures...
One of the things that most called my attention was the men who attended tea house parties with Geishas to be entertained. These men attend the tea house for company, relax and entertainment.
Geishas are a rare find, there are not many Geishas left in Japan. Same as with Miss Mummy. This is not something that is often done. Geishas and their world tend to be secretive and one of the most important qualities required is discretion. Same as with Miss Mummy, discretion is paramount and your privacy is treated and respected with professionalism.
With all the differences that there are with the Miss Mummy experience, I could relate to a lot of what I saw. First, the fact that Geishas are entertaining not just because of their personality, but as a result of a lot of training. Geishas can dance and sing, and so does Miss Mummy, dancing with you and singing game songs and lullabies, occasionally playing piano or the ukulele. Geishas are a luxury. So is Miss Mummy, who is creating a customised experience to make your dreams a reality.
Miss Mummy is also trained in the art of conversation, as well as mental health and in reading the situation and your body in order to better understand how to move next. She also creates a world of imagination, and although her aesthetic is not mysterious as the one of the Geisha with their white skin and red and black makeup, she presents herself in carefully chosen colours and style, suggesting childhood but not presenting herself as a girl, and in a distinctive style.
Even the smell in the changing room is taken care of, as well as the soundtrack that you
hear, and even if a big difference is that Miss Mummy caters for both men and women and the Geisha caters for men guests, the reality of Miss Mummy is that there is a greater majority of men attending sessions.
In the documentary, they say "the main task of the Geisha is to entertain these men and make them feel young again". Miss Mummy takes this even further, making you regress to your toddler or baby times with efficiency!
Finally, as the Geishas are there for the main purpose of entertaining these men, dancing and singing for them and serving their drinks, one could see how there is a continuation of a patriarchal culture where the submissive Geisha delivers entertainment for men who just should "be" there. Not at all a Miss Mummy who is in charge of her babies! However, there are always two sides to every story, and I notice how these Geishas really seem to be in charge and in control of what is happening and the pace of the events. And also, Miss Mummy is in charge of the situation and of yourself, so you don't have to worry about anything, so you can rely and be led in a world of fantasy, for some time, and in creating this for you, there is indeed, service, and the satisfaction of sharing it with you.