Community Papers

Chilliwack students source 'inner beauty'

From left, Devon Riley, Hannah Denevers, Raven Regino, and Kathryn Harder are taking part in
From left, Devon Riley, Hannah Denevers, Raven Regino, and Kathryn Harder are taking part in 'Beautiful, You' at G.W. Graham.
— image credit: JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS

They have a makeup routine that could put Katy Perry to shame.

Averaging anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes, every morning, they diligently work at perfecting their eyes, their lips, their youthful complexions. It’s a routine they’ve been doing for years, a routine started because they felt they had to.

To fit in.

To feel pretty.

To be pretty.

But for one week, Chilliwack’s teenaged girls are locking away their makeup brushes and palettes of colour.

From April 26 to May 2, girls from G.W. Graham middle-secondary school and Sardis secondary are participating in the second annual Beautiful, You project.

It’s an initiative that will have teenaged girls braving school halls with no makeup or hair products. An initiative the young organizers hope will prove to themselves, and others, that beauty is more than creams and shadows.

“A lot of girls use makeup as a comfort blanket; we feel we need it to look a certain way,” said Hanna Denevers, Grade 10 student at GWG.

“Makeup is fun, but it’s almost to the extreme – it’s addictive.”

The event’s organizers, including Denevers, Raven Regino, Kathryn Harder and Devon Riley, all started their makeup regimes in middle school.

“I wanted to fit in,” said Riley, a Grade 10 student at Sardis secondary.

Added Denevers: “When I got to middle school, every single girl was wearing makeup – it was my turn.”

But what started out as something fun and experimental has, for many, turned into a crutch.

Grade 10 student Raven Regino wishes somedays she could just get up and go.

“Once you start, you don’t feel as confident going without it,” said Regino. “You feel like everyone notices.”

But with Beautiful, You, it’s the opposite.

Beautiful, You was started last year by GWG graduate Brittany Clough to get high school students thinking more about inner beauty.

It’s a week-long event that works on building up self-esteem. Every day participants are given challenges:

Do something to make yourself and someone else happy. Leave an uplifting quote somewhere where you’ll find it later. Tick off every negative thought you have on your arm. List 30 positive things in your life. List three positive ways to deal with negative emotion. Write something nice on a Sticky note and leave it for someone else to find.

“Beautiful, You is something that can go further than hair and makeup,” said Regino. “It’s as much about not wearing hair and makeup as it is about feeling good about yourself and fighting insecurities. It’s about bringing girls together, about showing us that there’s more to us than what we wear to school – that we’re beautiful inside and out.”

Beautiful, You is a fundraiser for the Dove Foundation, but teens are not required to fundraise in order to participate.

The event will conclude with a sleepover at G.W. Graham on May 2.

For more information, email beautifulyou2014@outlook.com.

kbartel@theprogress.com

twitter.com/schoolscribe33

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