Personal care is important for young women’s self-esteem and wellbeing, so S.M.I.L.E. & Slay brings in health and beauty experts to provide free services to young women. They’re joined by other seasoned women – like business owners, athletes, judges, entertainers, elected officials, and community elders – who join in conversation about important topics for young women, honoring diverse perspectives and sharing ideas and wisdom in a positive environment. In exchange for grooming services, youth take care of the clean-up and join a contact list for community service projects.
S.M.I.L.E is the sister program of Barbershop Mondays. The purpose of the program is to engage girls and young women around age pertinent issues through exfoliations and manicures. While this program appears to focus on external beauty, Manicure Mentors essentially functions as a mentoring program. Manicure Mentors occur at different locations throughout the city and cover a variety of topics. These topics have included, but are not limited to, issues with family and friends, conflict and conflict resolution, self-esteem, self-worth, images of black women on reality television, and dating. The groups are usually facilitated by at least two female Safe & Sound youth organizers who create objectives and goals for each session. The youth organizers facilitate the conversation while youth are encouraged to help paint one another’s nails to build community and create a cohesive environment.