Beauty For A Cause: This Brand Empowers Women By Training Them In The Field Of Hairdressing
“Beauty is not just brand, a product, or a service, beauty is also a social commitment. What this means is that there’s an important role that beauty plays to change one’s life,” said L’Oréal Philippines Corporate Communications Manager Carmel Valencia.
We couldn’t agree more. A woman who is happy and confident about how she looks can conquer the world and make a big difference in it. Being knowledgeable about beauty can have a positive impact in the society we live in, too.
Grounded on the power and ability of beauty to empower women while transforming communities, the “Beauty for a Better Life” campaign of L’Oréal Philippines, in partnership with the Philippine Business for Social Progress, focuses on training underprivileged women in vulnerable social or economic situations and provides them livelihood opportunities. The program conducts hairdressing trainings for women within one barangay to allow for growth within the community and co-empowerment among themselves.
Carmel further talked about this initiative, saying, “In 2009, we had a very similar program called ‘Bigay Daan.’ It ran for four years, but we stopped it for a couple of reasons. Also, around that time, a lot of other countries are doing it so what we did is to group it in this global branding of beauty,” she explains.
So, in April 2017, they relaunched the program under a new name and started their first camp in Brgy. Sto. Niño in Marikina City, where they welcomed 62 beneficiaries, to undergo their 3-month hairdressing module with the goal of equipping these women with the skills to help them get a job at a salon or even start their own entrepreneurial journey.
“This is important because it’s empowering to be able to address that beauty need. You know, one of the things that we always say to our students is that you actually have the power to give someone confidence. That’s something that a lot of jobs can’t say,” Carmel shared.
And although they believe that beauty starts from within, getting glammed up certainly has a psychological effect on boosting inner confidence, thus changing your perspective on beauty in general. With this mindset, the students persevered to finish the course, and succeeded in doing so. To apply their learning, the students were exposed to a one-week internship in L’Oréal’s partner salons across Metro Manila.
Beauty for a Better LIfe Batch 1 graduates
Beauty for a Better LIfe Batch 2 graduates
Beauty for a Better Life Batch 3 graduates
Last April 3, the beneficiaries of Brgy. Sto. Niño graduated from the course with flying colors, and had their hair creations modeled on the runway for everyone to appreciate and be inspired by. During her speech at the graduation ceremony, Carmel shared that it is their aim to “provide the students a renewed sense of self-respect, dignity, and motivation.”
“For 2020, the goal of L’Oréal across the world with Beauty for a Better Life is to provide 20,000 students a chance at livelihood,” she adds. Led by the L’Oréal Foundation, “Beauty for a Better Life” is currently run in 27 countries. For the next cycle of “Beauty for a Better Life,” women from Brgy. Dela Peña, also in Marikina, have started their training under the program.
Also present during the graduation ceremony, to congratulate the students and talk about this meaningful endeavor, were L’Oréal Philippines General Manager, Professional Products Division Luis Yanga, Philippine Business for Social Progress Director Rey Laguda, Office of the Vice President of the Philippines Spokesperson Georgina Hernandez-Yang. The Vice President of the Philippines, Leni Robredo, whose advocacies include women empowerment, couldn't make it to the event but sent her well wishes through a video.
"Beauty for a Better Life" also plans to extend its offerings to include makeup training in the near future. For this, L’Oréal will tap previous participants who are interested in taking up their skills a notch.
L’Oréal Philippines Corporate Communications Manager Carmel Valencia
L’Oréal Philippines General Manager, Professional Products Division Luis Yanga
Philippine Business for Social Progress Director Rey Laguda
Office of the Vice President of the Philippines Spokesperson Georgina Hernandez-Yang
Vice President of the Philippines Leni Robredo
Photographs courtesy of L’Oréal Philippines. Additional photographs by Grace Libero-Cruz