Four Soldiers Score 'Good Housekeeping' Makeovers
By Elaine Wilson
Special to American Forces Press Service
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, Aug. 26, 2005 Four women soldiers from this San Antonio base kicked off their combat boots and let their hair down earlier this month for a two-day high-style fashion and beauty makeover sponsored by Good Housekeeping magazine.
The finalists for the makeovers pose for a final "after" shot for Good Housekeeping photographers. The makeover recipients include, from left, 1st Lt. Teresa Nefflen, aide to installation commander Maj. Gen. George Weightman; Capt. Ronsetta Hutchison, Brooke Army Medical Center operating room nurse; Sgt. 1st Class Tammy Crawley, D Company, 187th Medical Battalion; and Lt. Col. Andrea Taliaferro, Medical Command Equal Employment Opportunity program manager. Photo by Olivia Mendoza
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Good Housekeeping editors handpicked the women from a pool of nearly 100 soldiers from the post who showed up for the magazine's "casting call" Aug. 4 and 5.
"We wanted to do the makeovers to honor female soldiers everywhere," said Holly Crawford, Good Housekeeping beauty editor. "Although we could only pick four, we wanted all soldiers to know how much we appreciate the sacrifices they make. My only and biggest regret is that we couldn't feature more women in our story."
The makeover finalists included Lt. Col. Andrea Taliaferro, Medical Command Equal Employment Opportunity program manager; Capt. Ronsetta Hutchison, Brooke Army Medical Center operating room nurse; 1st Lt. Teresa Nefflen, aide to installation commander Maj. Gen. George Weightman; and Sgt. 1st Class Tammy Crawley, D Company, 187th Medical Battalion.
"When I found out I was a finalist, I didn't believe it at first," said Taliaferro, a mother of three. "I signed up on a whim and never thought I'd actually be picked."
Her disbelief lasted until the night before the makeover when she finally told her husband, Sgt. 1st Class William Taliaferro, who is currently deployed. "I never won anything in my life," she said. "I still can't believe it is real."
For Crawley, the makeover offered a rare chance to pamper herself, but "I figured it was still a long shot when I signed up," she said. "Either they really thought I needed a makeover or they saw potential."
Crawford said it was definitely the latter. "It was very hard to narrow down the soldiers during our selection process," she said. "All of the women who signed up were beautiful, both on the inside and outside. For these four women, we just saw an opportunity to enhance a beauty that already exists."
The recipients of the makeovers also saw an opportunity -- to update their appearance, learn a few beauty tips, and, as Crawley put it, "stretch my fashion boundaries and find something funky."
For the makeovers, Good Housekeeping pulled out all the stops, sending an entourage of photographers and beauty and fashion experts from New York City to the post to deliver "star" treatment to the women.
The first day, Aug. 16, the women started off barefaced for "before" photos, then received a new "do" from Sergio's Hair Salon and Spa in San Antonio. On the whirlwind second day, Starley Murray, from Starley Murray and Company, brightened up their minimalist style with makeup donated by Mary Kay, and local clothing retailers Chico's and White House and Black Market offered up cutting-edge fashions.
"The look is definitely different," Taliaferro said. "The makeup colors are a lot brighter than I usually wear. When my husband sees my new look, he's going to say, 'Who is that woman and what have you done with my wife?'"
Blow-dried, made up, outfitted and beautified, the soldiers then were asked to strike a pose during photo shoots at the base's Quadrangle and the Army Medical Department Museum.
"The women didn't need much. We just gave them a more current look and a little of the pampering they deserve," Crawford said. "We wanted to show female soldiers they can stay within regulation and still look fresh and modern."
The most drastic change, the soldiers agreed, was to Nefflen, who went from dark brown, medium-length hair to an edgy short blonde cut.
"I was nervous about the change, but everyone so far likes the look a lot," Nefflen said. "It was fun to be pampered and get so much attention."
In addition to their revamped looks, the women also walked away with a generous bounty: a gift certificate from each of the clothing stores and a year's worth of free skin care from Mary Kay, along with all the makeup they could pocket from the shoot.
"I'm so glad I had the opportunity to do this," Crawley said. "It's important for people to know that there are feminine women in the Army. I hope this provides recognition for strong women in the military everywhere."
The makeover story and photos will appear in the December issue of Good Housekeeping.
(Elaine Wilson is editor/writer for the Fort Sam Houston News Leader.)