This story originally appeared on RealTime/STL.
Robots are for everyone.
But the science and technology fields have historically been dominated by men, which was why a large booth offering free makeovers and beauty tips was both a little unexpected and very crowded Thursday afternoon at the FIRST robotic championships.
The booth, sponsored by Jane Cosmetics Co. and tucked in among tech giants, Boeing and the U.S. Air Force, wants girls to feel empowered and confident, no matter what fields they choose.
“It really inspires young people for greatness and that’s really what we’re all about,” said Lindsay Strull, cosmetics consultant from Los Angeles, as she brushed a thin layer of foundation around Richa’s eyes and nose. She added that the goal is “teaching women they can be strong and they can be beautiful and smart.”
“Some people want a little more,” she said. “Some want a little less.”
Richa interrupted: “Actually, I’m going to RoboProm.”
“I’ll see what I can do,” Strull told her as she applied pale pink eyeshadow.
RoboProm is exactly what it sounds like: A dance Thursday night for FIRST participants. “Some people go semi-formal, some get fancy, and some like to get into pretty unique costumes,” the RoboProm site advices. It’s the social event of the championships.
“We actually didn’t know about the RoboProm,” Strull said. “But it’s a prefect reason to get made-over.”
Strull said the booth has been popular with the girls and the moms in attendance, and hopes that the change in pace helps show girls they don’t have to choose between robots and traditional “girly” things.
“It is definitely kind of pampering and being able to spoil the women and girls that are here,” she said. “Because the response from the moms has actually been just as high as the response from the contestants.”