This past Monday, March 29, I was asked by one of my clients, Alyse Cooper-Pribish, to speak to the Lovett School’s T.G.I.F.” program, T.G.I.F. means Thank Goodness I’m Female. The monthly meeting is made up of 9th and 10th grade girls who work together to find solutions to the challenges that teenage girls face today. I’m so thrilled the school has a program like this available & very honored that Alyse thought of Authentic Beauty & me.
Last month, Alison Cross, my inspiration & partner with Project Authentic Beauty, presented the “Body, Beauty and Bravery” workshop to the T.G.I.F. girls. This workshop, as most of you know, focused on body image and self-esteem. I talked to them as a continuation of that workshop & really focused in on what I tell my clients everyday as part of the Image Journey. I discussed the fact that makeup should be a tool of self-expression that reflects your authentic self, rather than using it to make yourself look like something you’re not. I really encouraged the girls to dive into self-discovery of their authentic selves by using images within the media as inspiration to express themselves, rather than guidelines or rules (basically we took a mini Image Journey).
I also spent time going over skincare and of course, brow grooming fundamentals, and emphasizing that time spent on beauty should be 70% on skincare and only 30% on makeup. I explained to them ultimately, if you have a great skincare regimen & take care of your skin, then the time spent on “hiding” your skin imperfections & trying to play up your best features. If you skin is clear, then your authentic beautiful self will shine though! Regarding brows, I have had so many women come to me over the years & say I have been waxing my eyebrows since high school. So I begged the girls not to begin waxing their eyebrows, rather properly tweeze and trim to create the perfect frame for an authentically beautiful face.
The girls were really interested & responded with lots of questions, feedback and expressed a desire to learn more from Alison & me. And on that note, I am so excited that Lovett has invited Aly back to do “Part 2” to focus on Makeup as part of a Mother/Daughter event where this time, mothers will also be challenged with how they are responding to media images of beauty and their influence on the new generation of women via their daughters. Alison Cross & I presented to Lovett as part of our Project Authentic Beauty mission to empower girls to reframe the messages they are faced with from the beauty industry. We have presented to lots of schools already including North Springs High School, Marist School among many more. On March 23, we presented at the North Springs High School health fair, and were voted “favorite presenter!”
While at North Springs, we conducted a survey regarding body image. One hundred ten students responded (Ninety girls and twenty boys between the ages of 14 & 18). 56% of girls reported that magazine pictures affect their idea of the perfect body shape & 55% of girls were most afraid of losing a parent, while the fear of nuclear war and getting fat were tied at 11%. Nationally, when young girls were surveyed, they reported being more afraid of getting fat than losing a parent, cancer, or nuclear war. The students at North Springs’ response is certainly better than the national average, but there is still a lot of work to do and Project Authentic Beauty is committed to improving self-esteem and body image in young women.
One of the most surprising facts to come from both the North Springs & Lovett events was that a large majority of the students had not seen the Dove “Real Beauty” campaign video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U). While this video made a huge impact a few year’s ago, enough time has passed since that ad campaign that we are now back to a large percentage of young girls that do not recognize the images they are presented with as being severely altered and unrealistic images of unattainable “beauty.” Project Authentic Beauty is continuing to break ground in our community by exposing and erasing the damaging effects that these messages have on young women and girls, but like I said, there is still a lot of work to do! So my fabulous clients, please remind your daughters, granddaughters, neighbors, nieces & friends that they are beautiful no matter what. Happy Easter & look forward to seeing you all soon!