Ah, now I know why my “hostessing skills” are off. My parents never sent me to make-over camp.
THANK GOD. Because apparently you can send your ten- to fourteen-year-old daughters to be Stepfordized, er, finished off, at a camp in Montreal this summer.
At Make-Over Camp, they’re not taking the ugly duckling and turning her into a beautiful swan. They’re taking your uncouth pre-teen and “instilling confidence, social charm and grace in an atmosphere of fun and friendship.”
So, no burping contests, but plenty of “personal grooming and care, choice and co-ordination of attire, reception planning and hosting.”
Oh goodie. She’ll be able to throw a party AND pick out a pair of pumps to match her dress.
The program is part of the Lambda School of Music and Fine Arts where Make-Over Camp organizers say girls need to learn “presence” and “appropriate topics of conversation and appropriate attire.”
And to teach them all that, they’re throwing them back into the 1950s were boys don’t need to learn to plan a reception or match tie to vest because there’s a little girly learning to do it for them. Remind me again, which college accepts students based on their posture?
There’s no doubt that kids today could benefit from some social skills, but learning to look an adult in the eye when they’re talking to them should be picked up at home along with “personal grooming.” It shouldn’t take $750 to accomplish.
Of course, Lambda says this isn’t sexist. They’re “empowering” girls. Which is the word we hear bandied about anytime someone wants to protest something eminently sexist as an idea the feminist community should embrace.
How is it empowering to learn to coordinate your clothes? To learn to be a good hostess? Wouldn’t it be just as empowering to hold business classes on organizing conferences and meetings . . . which carry with them hostessing skills on a much broader (not to mention more marketable) level? Or how about teaching the girls color coordination in art classes . . . which would equate to learn coordination of clothing? Let’s throw in nutrition classes where they get a grasp on grooming that goes beyond hair and make-up. That’s how you “empower” kids (kids, not just girls, kids).
I won’t argue the bones of a good idea aren’t there, but the execution is absolutely awful. As one critic said, the current set up is essentially a “wife camp” for girls.
Image: Lambda School of Music and Fine Arts