'Healthy Girl' event sends positive messages

Years ago, doubles tennis stars Roxanne and Sierra Ellison started taking messages of encouragement with them into their matches.

They'd glance at their wrists and see something like "You can do this" in Sharpie pen.

"We've always written things on our hand when we were on the court," Sierra said.

It was their way of encouraging themselves and each other, and at the first ever Healthy Girl Festival in Laguna Beach over the weekend, they decided to share that encouragement with hundreds of attendees.

Instead of permanent marker, they sold messages like "Love it," "Dream it!" or "Believe it!" emblazed on ponytail bracelets.

At the Festival of Arts Grounds on Saturday, they joined other female-centric vendors, the Yours Truly all girl band and guest speakers united around a message for young women.

"It's not about image, and it's not about being skinny," said Maggie Hempen, the event's co-chair.

It was about reaffirming the mental, physical and spiritual value and potential of women and girls, she said.

A centerpiece of the event was screenings of the documentary "Miss Representation," which premiered at Sundance in 2011 and focuses on representations of women in media.

The event was the first Healthy Girl Festival put on by Soroptimist International of Laguna Beach. They hope to make it a yearly occurrence.

"This is totally in line with our mission," said Mary Sausen, president of Soroptimists International of Laguna Beach, a local branch of the organization that's dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls.

The event rang true with vendor Donna Schuller who was there to offer her expertise in nutrition and wellness.

"I went from being a model and into nutrition and health by wanting something more," Schuller said.

The event was teeming with dozens of Schuller's favorite type of client, young girls who are eager to learn about nutrition without any negative habits already ingrained she said.

"It's just the right message at the right time," Hempen said.


Twitter: @jeremiahdobruck

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World