“Have you met your skin tone and how gorgeous it would be in pink?” Roosevelt Middle School Social Worker Robin Burge said, dangling a sweatshirt in front of one of 36 girls participating in Girls Night In at the school Jan. 29.
The young lady wasn’t crazy about the color, but decided if it could be “salmon,” she’d wear it.
Roosevelt staff oohed and aahed as she tried it on and a smile crept across her face.
Wide grins were the norm as girls shopped for attire and accessories, had their hair and nails done, created Rainbow Loom bracelets, decorated photo frames, snacked on veggie pizza and other goodies, tried Zumba and walked the red carpet at the first annual Girls Night In.
“We’re really working to promote good self-esteem,” said the event’s chief organizer Nicki Magaard, school counselor at Roosevelt. “Middle school’s hard.”
A select group of girls, identified by Roosevelt staff as ladies who might benefit from a self-esteem boost, were invited to Girls Night In.
Seventh-grader Brittany McClain took away lots from the event, and not just bags of clothes and make-up. It was a chance to make new friends, she said.
Her only regret was that the event wasn’t earlier in the day so that all of her classmates could see her updo and new wardrobe. “I wish this was before school,” she sighed.
Brittany saw a hairstyle she loved on television and asked one of the stylists, all volunteers from Razzl Dazzl Salon in Blaine, to replicate it. She set it off with a new leopard headband.
One young lady was so in awe of her curled hair that she decided the stylist was hired for her wedding in 20 years. After thinking that statement over, the 13-year-old reduced the wait to 10 years, though the stylists and staff thought 33 was a fine age to tie the knot.
Blues and purples were all the rage at the manicure table. Girls who made their Rainbow Loom bracelets before having their nails done had an easier time of it than those attempting to be crafty with wet polish.
The shoppe was filled with 14 boxes of clothes and accessories donated by Turn Style consignment in Coon Rapids, as well as additional fashions and beauty products brought in by Roosevelt staff.
Many girls were drawn to high heels. Almost all speculated about their mothers’ reactions to the shoes, but dismissed concerns, strapping them on eagerly.
After all the girls visited the salon and shoppe, it was time for a red-carpet fashion show.
Burge operated the spotlight as additional staff members took their positions as paparazzi, flashing their cameras as the girls struck a pose at the end of the runway.
One young lady took a tumble, but she popped right back up and continued modeling.
After an afternoon of pampering, the girls were smiling ear-to-ear as the event concluded around 5:15 p.m.
Staff is considering what an event for middle school boys might look like, probably nothing like Girls Night In. It could include some sort of competition, Magaard said.
Olivia Koester is at firstname.lastname@example.org