LINCOLN BLVD. — The Santa Monica Boys & Girls Club lived up to its goal of being “a positive place for kids and teens” on Friday when it hosted a one-day camp with My Beauty, a company that seeks to promote self-esteem in teenage girls.
“Our goal is to empower young girls and help them become successful women,” said Gabrielle Thomas, the founder of My Beauty. For the past five years, the company has worked to accomplish this goal through camps and workshops that reach out to pre-teen and teenage girls.
The My Beauty bus tour, now in its third year, was conceived as a way of spreading My Beauty’s message of health, confidence and individual beauty to girls throughout California.
This year, over 30 girls, ages 11 to 18, signed up for the program, which focused on skin care, fashion and self-defense.
In My Beauty’s mobile studio, aesthetician Tiffany Shea and dermatologist Debra Luftman taught girls about proper skin care and acne treatment, and helped them give themselves facials.
“Beauty is really about being balanced between inner and outer beauty,” said Luftman. “This is a good starting platform for these girls to learn how to take care of themselves and view themselves as beautiful no matter what.”
Apparently it worked.
“The facial was my favorite part,” said Jaelen Edmonds, one of the program’s participants. “You get to learn how to take care of your face, and learn about all these different products.”
In nearby Reed Park, Marcella King taught the essentials of self-defense, demonstrating basic kicks and discussing the problems of domestic violence against young women.
“Nobody has the right to use violence against you,” King reminded the girls
More light-hearted was the camp’s fashion station, where creative director Genesis Parker-Davis helped girls design their own T-shirts. In keeping with the female-centric attitude of the day, the T-shirts were all pink.
Mi’Lesha Morrisor, who was participating in the camp for the second year, said, “It’s helped me with my self-confidence. I’ve learned a lot more about makeup and how to apply it, and more about facials. You learn a lot about your body at My Beauty camp.”
The Boys & Girls Club has hosted similar events in conjunction with My Beauty for the past three years. These events are generally met with great success, according the director, Brandon Labrie.
“The girls love it,” Labrie said of the program. “After they complete this session, you see a totally different person. Their self-esteem, their awareness — girls really grow up in this program.”