Adolescence is widely considered the most confusing part of a girl's life. This tricky period of time where girls are in search of their self-identity means they are constantly seeking validation in an external world that they're still trying to understand. This puts them at risk for developing destructive habits such as self-inflicting behaviour, violence, smoking, drug abuse, alcoholism and other practices that require rehabilitation and intervention.
OUR WHY is to create a culture that teaches girls about the importance of self-esteem and confidence. We all know that self-esteem cannot be medicated, and we also know that when girls are equipped with the mental health tools and leadership skills they are better able to navigate the social and emotional inclinations of their teen years to become successful adults and leaders.
The name Inside Beauty came about because its first initiative was providing make overs to sex trade workers and sexually exploited women. Formed in 2002 by Tanya Wttewaall, the mandate was to provide a series of hair and makeovers, in partnership with hair salons, makeup artists and stylists, directly along various strolls. Our goal was to help women in distressed life situations feel beautiful on the outside, and as a result she can begin the work of transforming herself on the inside- hence, Inside Beauty.
Women from all walks of life participated in this event. Different ages, different cultures, the women had one thing in common: they wanted a change. By starting with the outer look, we inspired woman to make changes within themselves. We are dedicated to giving women and girls a chance for a better life.
I am a survivor of sexual-exploitation, mental and physical abuse.
My voice will not be silenced
This is My Why
It’s impossible to underestimate the role self-confidence plays in shaping a girl’s life. Confidence is what fuels her early ambition and vision for her future. It empowers her to use her voice, to develop sound judgment and the courage to own her story—no matter how challenging the circumstances.
Growing up I was conditioned to be private, to not burden others with problems; no bleating, no sob stories. As with most teenagers, I was struggling with issues of identity and with family. As a teen, I suffered from severe bulimia, cutting, and planned suicide.
I became street entrenched and was groomed by not only my "boyfriend" but my new found friends.
I was tough. I was a fighter. I didn’t see myself as a victim of anything....until they tried to turn me out. The personal relationships kept me from accepting my assaults as exploitation. I thought it was my fault.
My initial healing journey was a long one. I learned to build walls and was really good at being angry all the time. It took me 20 years to know it wasn't my fault. Because as girls and woman, we know the power of resilience, our ability to rise up, transform, grow and evolve.
Prior to having my own family, I was a foster parent for High Risk Teenagers. I remember trying to maintain the positive “drip, drip” effect. I had to learn how to heal the damage caused by others and how deep rooted experiences from childhood shapes and molds the person we become today.
Because confidence doesn't grow on its own, nor does it spontaneously appear, especially when living in an environment of poverty, uncertainty, or fear—environments that too often squander the futures of too many of our children. Confidence needs to be nurtured and that nurturing needs to start early, which is why I started Inside Beauty Foundation.
The last twenty years have been nothing short of extraordinary, exceeding all hopes and expectations. The foundation has grown from a single holiday makeover drive for the forgotten-women-of-the-streets to a platform of programs that inspires her ambition, connects her with a network of peers and mentors, and supplements some of her most basic personal needs.
We help girls in At-risk situations envision and realize an empowered future. This is the work we do every single day — and we couldn't do it without you.
With deep gratitude,
Director and Team Lead
Counsellor / Coach
Coach / Facilitator
Outreach and Community Relations
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