Though many cancer patients may want to experiment with new fashion or make-up techniques to enhance their self-image during and after treatment, it’s not always easy to know where to start.
The Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) program, a unique partnership between the Personal Care Products Council Foundation, American Cancer Society and the Professional Beauty Association, can help: LGFB workshops offered at hospitals around the country bring women together with trained beauty professionals who volunteer their time and services to provide insight and direction regarding skin care, cosmetics, hair care, wigs, scarves and hats, and styling for cancer patients.
Look Good Feel Better Executive Director Louanne Rourk says, “Your appearance is part of your identity. When the outward effects of cancer treatment start to appear, many women feel a loss of identity and a loss of themselves.” The LGFB workshops, Rourk says, provide the opportunity to connect with others, to focus on their own needs and to regain confidence: “Women leave the workshop not only with new skills and friends, but with a renewed sense of control and confidence.”
Q. What is the mission of LGFB?
A. Look Good Feel Better is dedicated to improving the self-esteem and quality of life of people undergoing treatment for cancer. It is LGFB’s aim to improve their self-image and appearance through complimentary group, individual and self-help beauty sessions that create a sense of support, confidence, courage and community.
Q. How did LGFB get started?
A. In 1987, a physician asked former Personal Care Products Council President Ed Kavanaugh how he could organize a “makeover” for a woman in cancer treatment who was experiencing dramatic appearance side effects. The woman was so depressed and self-conscious she would not venture outside her hospital room. Kavanaugh made some calls and was able to provide cosmetics and a cosmetologist – and the makeover transformed not only the woman’s look, but also her outlook. She felt happier, less burdened and laughed for the first time in weeks.
Q. Where can women learn more about LGFB?
A. To learn more about these transformative workshops and to access the LGFB virtual tools, visit lookgoodfeelbetter.org, or read inspiring first-hand accounts on the LGFB blog from women like Marisa and Darla who have benefited from the program.
Photos by Chester Simpson, courtesy of the Personal Care Products Council Foundation for Look Good Feel Better.