Society bombards youth, especially young girls and women, with a barrage of unrealistic goals and aspirations.
Luckily, there’s a program available locally for girls aged 11-17 to provide a little guidance. Beauty from the Inside Out is a program developed by Renae Peterson, B.N. and is designed as a powerful tool to empower young ladies with more knowledge, so students can know better and do better in the media-saturated marketplace, in which we live.
“It really is so sustainable and I’ve been just so pleased with the impact that it has had on our community and surrounding areas. I have sponsorship programs through Picture Butte, Coaldale, Nobleford and some of these outlining communities that students have been able to attend the program,” noted Peterson, adding the program is in its ninth year.
According to Peterson, she went back to school into nursing as a single mom and raised two daughters on her own. During her educational pursuits, she reflected back on her own life as a young girl and began to think about a program to impact young women on a more holistic level. A level which would encompass what Peterson referred to as, “getting to the heart of it.”
Peterson recalled the time during training when she went to listen to a new baby’s heartbeat for the very first time.
“My instructor told me to find the ‘dance,’ said Peterson, adding she wondered what that meant.
Peterson added she needed to train her ears to listen for the heartbeat and it gave her goosebumps.
“It made me think about the importance of that heartbeat and what does that heartbeat want to do and who are we each meant to be and what was our purpose and what was our destiny to walk into? In doing my research and the way my program has evolved, I kind of related that to who is written on our heart, what experiences have we had as young girls or what are these young girls going through because they are bombarded with so much emotionally and sexually with multimedia — all of the messages that are just coming in. It’s like, what is the writing on the heart and what lies are they believing about themselves?”
It’s only when we understand ourselves at a heart level or even change at a heart level, Peterson explained, our behaviours change and we can walk out with better patterns.
“I just developed the program and I journey them through 11 weeks. Teaching them about the art of communication and what does that mean and self-talk and how to communicate with other people and how to not let those lies or those perceptions of others to impact us on the level that doesn’t make us live up to our full potential. We deconstruct the media and have them look at it from a more intelligent perspective,” said Peterson, as she explained the program’s dynamics, adding the group visits Bootlegger in Park Place Mall in Lethbridge to talk about body image and dressing like you’re not for sale. She noted female police officers also come out to talk to the girls about social media.
Peterson and the girls in the program talk about following dreams, what it means to be beautiful and mother/daughter nights are part of the program’s package.
“Research is showing that we have more anxiety in our young people today and it’s because they’re having a hard time assimilating all that they’re bombarded with — trying to make sense of it,” she added.
Peterson said the Beauty from the Inside Out program is looking for sponsors. New classes begin for 11 weeks starting Mondays on Jan. 26 and Wednesdays starting Mar. 18. The program is offered at Webtech in Lethbridge. For more information contact Peterson at 403-380-0607 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit online at http://www.beautyinside.ca.