Everybody loves a good redemption story, so let us all gather around and admire the resilient comeback of Michelle Lapidos, who did a perfect white-person thing when she wore an afro around New York to learn more about herself and is now doing an even more perfect white-person thing: running an "adult preschool" in Brooklyn.
Lapidos, now known as Michelle Joni (nice try, lady), is the focus of an ABC news story titled "Grownups Pay Big Bucks to Attend NYC 'Adult Preschool,'" which would seem like an almost too on-the-nose parody of the upper middle class if it wasn't extremely real.
The Brooklyn-based Preschool Mastermind, as it's called, is a preschool-type experience for adults. No, really. And according to its founder, there's show-and-tell, arts-and-crafts such as finger paint, games (think musical chairs) and even naps.
Adult preschool — not unlike New York City's preschool's for children, doesn't come cheap. Payment for the class is on a sliding scale ranging from $333 to $999. Joni said that "preschool is all about choice. I want them [the students] to feel good about the choice they're making."
The accompanying photos show Joni sitting in a cross-legged in a circle with her adult "students" making macaroni necklaces. Sitting atop her head is not an afro, but a unicorn horn made out of construction paper. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
The afro changed my perspective; it made me think, walk, see and experience life differently. I wear it often. It's not about feeling black… what I actually feel like is ME, understood more clearly. It's not an alter ego. It's an amplified ego.
About her adult pre-school she now says:
"I realized all the implications of what we learn in preschool," said founder Michelle Joni, who said she went to school for childhood education and always wanted to be a preschool teacher. "People come here and get in touch with their inner child. It's magical."
I hope they build a bronze statue of this woman on the corner of 7th and Bedford.
[image of Michelle Joni via her website]