February 9, 2016


Former LJIC Standout Student Bopha Mom-Baccam, cherishes the opportunity to make people feel good about how they look. That’s what being an Esthetician is about.


Her shoulders are slumped & life seems heavy. The woman sits in the chair of an upscale beauty salon. Her loyal husband stands by her side, gently holding her hand. The woman avoids eye contact, and her purse sits in her lap. This woman has been at war with cancer, and because of the radiation therapy, she is wearing a wig.

Enduring chemotherapy has been physically exhausting. Torturous. But there are emotional scars too. While undergoing a regimen of radiation, most people lose the hair on their head and their eyelashes also. In some ways, the emotional pain of losing your appearance can hurt just as bad…

Esthetics: It’s the study of beauty. Estheticians master the art of making people look their best. It’s commonly said that beauty is skin deep. But the pain of losing your self-confidence like the anguish felt by the woman in the salon chair is very real. Its depth is unimaginable.

Bopha Mom-Baccam is one of Des Moines’ finest and most highly regarded Estheticians. She trained at La’ James International College in Johnston and graduated in 2007. She now owns Penelopie Beauty Bar in Clive, Iowa. This is her salon that the woman is sitting in, and it’s Bopha’s job to help.

Bopha spends most of her working hours having fun and making people up for weddings, family photos and senior prom. She also does the makeup for the models in local magazine shoots. But easing the pain like the hurt felt by the woman sitting in that chair, that’s when Bopha is at her best. That’s when she feels real satisfaction.

The woman’s doctors have told her that the cancer is gone, and she’s all done with radiation. Now she needs to start feeling good about herself again. Fixing her appearance is the first step. Among other beauty treatments, Bopha teaches the woman to apply false eyelashes.

Doing it on yourself is actually a lot harder,” Bopha says, so she teaches the husband how to do it too. “He did great.”

After the beauty treatments are applied, the woman gets up out of the chair. She looks in the mirror and likes what she sees. Her shoulders aren’t quite as bowed. She smiles.

Thank you so much for making me fee confident again,” the woman says.

That’s what Bopha Mom-Baccam does for a living.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *