MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Local foster children on Friday received an afternoon of free primping and pampering, all with one goal: to show these real-life “Barbies” their true worth.
Health Connect America, which provides therapeutic care for children, families and adults across several states, offered area girls a menu that included a manicure, makeup, hair, or “Barbie Deluxe,” which covered all three makeovers.
Showing the girls their inner beauty, outwardly, was the goal for HCA specialists, who are licensed to provide outpatient services for kids, according to the Alabama Department of Mental Health’s website.
That’s because HCA specialists noticed the girls were struggling.
Foster care provides temporary living arrangements for children whose parents can’t currently care for them. In Alabama, approximately 5,700 children are in foster care, according to the state’s Department of Human Resources website.
The tell-tale signs of distress from being unable to see birth families include sadness, poor hygiene and behavioral problems, according to Lyndy Kane, HCA’s community support specialist.
And one treatment for being down in the dumps, she said, is a makeover.
Enter Friday’s Barbie-inspired spa day, which featured community members all dolled up, and ready to make over the girls, who entered a “Princess Experience Bus” donated by Alicia Isaac and Kelvin Cortez.
The girls would learn they could become anything — just like Barbie, who is known for taking on numerous occupations since toy company Mattel launched the line of plastic fashion dolls in 1959.
While this spa day was unaffiliated with that brand, the recent blockbuster movie, “Barbie,” starring actress Margot Robbie, did inspire the event.
“The ‘Barbie’ movie just talks about a lot of those things that women struggle with,” Kane said, referring to universal messages the film shared about body image and the very essence of being female.
HCA’s spa day was a first for the organization, which often hosts holiday parties and even summer camps designed just for foster children, Kane said.
But it was time for this specific event.
“We just saw a consistent need for that type of encouragement, and we decided to run with it,” Kane said.
“I think we just wanted to lift morale a little bit for everybody.”
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