Jose Antonio, a homeless man in Palma, Spain, has spent the past 25 years of his life working as an unlicensed car parking attendant, helping people find spots and looking after their cars, in order to earn money for food.
However, his life completely changed one fateful day, when a salon owner, who knew him from his day job, offered him a free makeover. Antonio walked into the barber shop with his gray outgrown hair and a dirty unkempt beard. But he when he walked out, he was absolutely unrecognizable and could easily be mistaken for a stylish hipster or middle-aged model.
A video of the man’s transformation was posted on La Salvajeria's Salon’s Facebook, marking its third birthday. It starts off with Antonio, a former electrician, seated in a chair in front of a mirror.
“Leave the doors over the mirror open for the moment so I can see myself for the last time like this. Then close them to see if when they open again, it's as if something else really opened up in my life, like a symbol,” he said.
The man, who previously suffered depression due to his struggles in life, then underwent an incredible makeover, where his hair was dyed and trimmed. When the mirror in front of Antonio was reopened, he was amazed at his transformation.
Holding his hands on his mouth, the homeless man gasped and smiled before bursting into tears. “My God, this is incredible, is this me? I'm so different; no one's going to recognize me unless I tell them who I am.”
He then stepped out onto the streets, where he caught the eyes of many women and men. He was so unrecognizable that one local in his neighborhood asked him, “Where’s your Ferrari, mate?”
Now, even though Antonio looks well-groomed and his looks have been maintained to some extent, he is still looking for work. In an interview with a Spanish TV station, the man who is now off the streets, thanks to financial assistance from an anonymous company, admitted the change in his appearance has changed his life. He added, though, he was in search for a job.
“I'm lost for words. Jose helps me to park my car every day. When we saw him after his makeover we didn't recognize him. He's a wonderful person and the video is amazing,” said a local, Paola Bocardo after watching the video.
Check out the tear-jerking video above.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Darren Staples