By Jessica Myszak, Bloomington Center
Last month the women from The Bloomington Center got glammed out, dressed up, and learned a little bit more about their own sense of style along the way.
The Bloomington Center’s Women’s Group meets once a week in the evenings to talk about a variety of issues impacting women.
Over the year, their activities have included discussing issues with siblings, having an election party, and practicing self-defense. Recently, the women’s group spent 6 weeks focusing on personal style, and all of the components that fall into this. Along with Maggie, Amy, Adria, Valerie, Hannah and Anna, Jessica led the group with the help of Lauren and Lisa, two other graduate students from Indiana University
First, each of the women identified and found pictures which represented her personal style. As the 6 weeks progressed, each woman had the opportunity to experiment with new types of makeup and clothing to fit along with this style. A Mary Kay representative came one evening to talk about skin care and basic makeup routines. As Adria put it,
“It was a great way for us to bond! How else can girls bond but over makeup and Mary Kay!”
Another night, after talking about which types of clothing fit different occasions, the women took a trip to the mall with the challenge of finding an outfit they might wear to different types of events. Anna and Amy both enjoyed going to the mall, where Amy ended up buying one of the dresses she tried on for an event this summer.
The women made collages of their different looks and celebrated the end of the unit with a trip to Roots, a local restaurant, where everyone paid a little extra attention to their look. For Anna and Valerie, going out to eat at the end was their favorite part.
Having had differing experiences with fashion and style beforehand, each of the women took different things from the series. Hannah said she “learned the basics for matching clothes together.” After never wearing makeup before, Hannah also mentioned that she might try some for her cousin’s wedding this summer. Maggie reported that
“I thought I would just absorb the information and advice about style, but I ended up getting a complete makeover!”
Maggie’s renewed attention to her style was especially evident through a haircut, retirement of her bandannas, and her everyday clothing choice. Maggie added,
“I knew about what was appropriate and inappropriate for style, but it was nice to get advice from people my own age, not my mother who is 60.”
Many of the women echoed this sentiment, feeling that their previous experiences with choosing clothes may have been stressful on both them and their parents. Adria said,
“I think it’s very worthwhile to do something like this, especially at the college level and with a program like this. One of the goals of CIP is to foster social awareness and my parents have tried to help me with this, but this definitely helped me and reinforced some of my beliefs and ideas and taught me some etiquette that I should know.”