Contemporary Latin American Fiction

Beauty Salon (Part III and IV)- Mario Bellatin| Self-Care Workshop

Part III

Exercise Three

The narrator of Beauty Salon believes that establishing boundaries is essential to developing care work. For example, they only accept (gay) men experiencing an advanced stage of the illness. In the novella, like in real life, there is a major stigma around the disease. The narrator and guests are dying from this disease as well as dealing with a society already against them.  (Pages 10, 11, 51-55)

Think about your boundaries and limits.

How do you set, or would like to set boundaries around work, school, social media use, or relationships?

.Sectioning school work (for example through the Pomodoro method)

.Intentionally stop working during the weekend and/or take advantage of the weekend as a period of self-care and socialization.

.Deleting or removing social media apps from your phone or restricting time on them.

.Understanding how social media works in terms of logarithm and data and how they alter your attention and focus.

.Develop consciousness on social media addiction and how the logarithms first feed from you but then model you and your media consumption.

How can you communicate your self-care needs to others in your life, such as family members, coworkers, or friends?

.It is difficult to raise boundaries and communicate self-care needs with immediate family members and within exploitative job environments. However, it is important to raise and reflect on the question as your well-being is at stake.

Presentation (s)

Khaneja,Mahima K

Gordon-Gatica,Diego Joseph

Part IV

How to narrate a pandemic?

Realizing that there were many others with nowhere else to go, [they] reluctantly began to take them in, too. [They]’d taken it upon [themselves] to establish a place in which the sick could die in a way far more respectful of life than any of their other meager options provided, at the same time contending with the mysterious plague and the sick society in which it thrives by escaping into a beautiful if sometimes troubling world of his own creation. 

What [the narrator] has given to them, and Bellatin to us, is a model for dying, and for living; for treating the abject body with honesty and respect, despite its difference and decay—perhaps because of it. Even if it seems too much to say. Bellatin offers a different way of reading, and of telling, a story—one in which what is unsaid, incompletely rendered, allows respectful room for discovering and conveying more than we might have imagined, or were told that we could.

Maggie Riggs

What did you think of the narrator and their way of telling the story? What is your opinion on the ending of the novella? How did it leave you feeling and what message did you take away from it?



Brooks,Tiana Ablessing


Exercise Four

A manifesto is a public declaration of principles, beliefs, or intentions issued by an individual, group, or organization. It is a written statement that outlines a specific set of ideas, values, or goals.

In groups write a self-care manifesto. Use these open questions as guidance:

What “gives you life”? What is your “yes”? How can you build a community of support around your self-care routine? Who are some people in your life that you can turn to for accountability and encouragement? How can you translate that routine into your student life?


Here’s an example of a short self-care manifesto based on what you wrote last week:

We believe that self-care is a fundamental aspect of a healthy and fulfilling life. Therefore, we commit to prioritizing our well-being through the following actions:

  1. We will listen to our bodies and mind and honor our physical and emotional needs.
  2. We will set healthy boundaries and learn to say no when necessary.
  3. We will cultivate positive relationships that uplift and support us.
  4. We will take breaks when we need them and make time for rest and relaxation.
  5. We will nourish our bodies with healthy food, exercise, and adequate sleep.

Collective Self-Care Manifesto

We believe self-care is essential to maintaining wellness, joy in life, and a successful future. We do not want to be defined by productivity or profit. We will constantly interrogate how we can emphasize and practice freedom.  Hence, we commit to following these lifestyle choices:

  1. We will fulfill our bodily needs and pamper ourselves.
  2. We will learn discipline over our willpower to maximize our potential.
  3. We will learn not to identify ourselves with our failures and instead be kind to ourselves. 
  4. We will leave ample room for recovery and reevaluation. 
  5. We will be firm in our boundaries. We will give ourselves space from others when needed with high awareness about consent.
  6. We will prioritize our happiness and self-fulfillment. We will be open to new life experiences.
  7. We will not people-please, and we will learn to do what we need to do for ourselves, even if sometimes it seems selfish. We will build relationships with people that reciprocate the same energy.
  8. We will be more responsible with our financial budgeting and our distribution of time and energy. We will aspire to balance.
  9. We will speak our minds and not let things marinate inside our heads. We will prioritize our mental health. We will practice mindfulness and meditation to secure our inner peace. 
  10. We will respect other’s people healthy goals.