Charm School

2 min readFeb 29, 2024
Photo by Mahrael-Boutros

When I was eleven or twelve years old, my mother signed me up for Charm School at the department store in the mall. I remember feeling a mix of emotions as we walked through the glittering aisles, passing by racks of clothes and shelves of makeup. I was excited to learn how to be more refined and elegant, like the women in the magazines. I felt a twinge of hope that signing up for Charm School would transform me into a more sophisticated young woman.

On the first day of class, I arrived early and sat in one of the plush chairs at the back of the room, trying to shrink into the upholstery as the other girls filed in. They were all dressed in frilly skirts and pastel cardigans, their hair styled in perfect curls and their makeup done just enough to look put together without being too grown-up. I, on the other hand, wore my one pair of jeans and t-shirt, my broken-down tennis shoes with my hair in a messy ponytail and my face bare.

As the instructor began the lesson, I could not help but feel out of place. I fumbled through the steps of walking with a book on my head and practicing proper posture, and I cringed at the thought of having to do a mock fashion show at the end of the course. But as the weeks went on, something shifted inside of me. I found myself enjoying the classes, and I started to take more care of my appearance, experimenting with different hairstyles and makeup looks.

When the final fashion show came around, I was given a new outfit to wear. I strutted down the makeshift runway with confidence, my head held high and a smile on my face. As I received my certificate of completion at the end of the class, I realized that Charm School had taught me much more than just how to be a poised and polished young lady. It taught me that I could be whoever I wanted to be, regardless of what society or others expected.

Now, Charm School, and other classes like Home Economics and Woodshop seem like relics from the past.

Did any of you attend a Charm School? What memories do you have?




Monica Broussard is a Writer, and Speaker, with a Life Coach Certification. She occasionally writes for her hometown SeaCliff Living Magazine.