There are some moments in my job that I get to meet people who change me for the better. I recently had the opportunity to host a makeup class with a group of ladies who did that for me at Hope Haven of Northeast Georgia. Here are a few pictures from my time with them.
Jennifer, Libra, Christy, Sandra, Regina, Makeyla, and Marrika were the faces I had the honor of working with. All of these ladies are part of the Hope Haven organization which is a nonprofit that works to empower individuals with developmental disabilities while supporting them and their families to participate in the community right here in my city of Athens, Ga. I was originally asked to come teach these women the basics of makeup as a group activity for them to enjoy and learn from. This wasn’t about the complicated art of contouring, or how to create a winged eye. I was there to show them how the simple swipe of the right colored gloss, mascara, and a bit of blush could enhance a persons natural beauty.
I was supposed to be teaching them, but what happened, was they taught me something. They taught me that despite any physical or mental disability that they had, that it wasn’t going to affect them taking joy in what was happening at that moment and they were fearless!! I saw more smiles in the 1 hour I was there working with each of them, than I sometimes see in an entire day working with a bridal party! When I would ask what color lips do you want to try, most were like “go red!” or “I want shimmery eyes!” The entire group was so encouraging towards one another it was truly amazing – “You look beautiful,” “I love that color on you,” and more smiles and hugs than you can imagine once I was finished working with each of them.
It was so refreshing because honestly I didn’t know what to expect before I got there and yes, I was nervous. Would they like me, would they really be interested, would it be hard to get them to understand what I was doing? But it’s one of those times that once you interact with these women, you realize that they are just like you and me, in that they like to feel pretty which transforms into confidence. It is a universal feeling and they deserve to feel that way. I have always known that a little bit of makeup can really build up a woman’s self confidence in a way that isn’t materialistic or vain and this experience with these women really confirmed that. Not only were these ladies cool to work with, but the volunteers and people on staff that work at Hope Haven are equally as phenomenal. Thank you to Lindsay for asking me to be a part of this day and I applaud you and the rest of the staff at Hope Haven for empowering and lifting up these individuals.