On Thursday, Oct. 27, West Chester University held its annual Love Your Body Fashion Show in the Sykes Theater.
The fashion show was hosted by Sister to Sister, a WCUorganization which recruits and trains sorority women to be mentors and positive role models to other women on campus, particularly in the areas of body image, eating disorders, and self-esteem.
This event was part of Love Your Body Day, a national campaign which, according to their website, “challenges the message that a woman’s value is best measured through her willingness and ability to embody current beauty standards.”
Sister to Sister took more than two months to plan the fashion show in order to show their support of the Love Your Body Day campaign.
“There is a devastatingly increasing number of women with low self-esteem or eating disorders. We, as a community of sisters, need to band together to promote a healthy, positive body image for all women,” Lauren Bolden, vice president of the Panhellenic Council Executive Board, said.
Before the event began, the room was buzzing with excitement and chatter. There were close to 200 girls in attendance, with a handful of fraternity brothers.
Before the fashion show began, they showed a clip warning students to ignore the pressure that the media puts on girls to be their definition of “beautiful” all the time.
The fashion show then began, playing music that centered on being beautiful, such as “Just the Way You Are,” “Born This Way,” and “Who Says.” Twenty girls modeled the clothes that they felt most comfortable in, and each model had a specific thing she liked about herself—whether it was legs, skin, shoulders, teeth, hands, dimples, and many others. All of the models looked different: they were blonde, brunette, fair, dark, tall, and short.
The only thing that they all had in common was that they were healthy-looking, which is a big difference from seeing models in the fashion industry. After all of the models walked the catwalk, Sister to Sister showed another movie clip called Miss Representation about how women are still made to feel unimportant in the business and political world; this video also focused on the fact that it needs to change.
Audience member Mary Flynn said that she liked the videos and that they portrayed women as leaders. “It really opened up my eyes,” she said. Flynn, a member of Alpha Xi Delta, said that she would absolutely go to another event like the fashion show. “Body image is what makes you yourself, and you need to stay true to yourself,” Flynn said.
One of the models in the fashion show, Courtney Kalinowski, became involved because she saw the fashion show last year and it made her want to be a part of Love Your Body Day. Kalinowski, also a sister of Alpha Xi Delta, said, “Everyone is different, and I think it’s important that Sister to Sister promotes to be proud of what you look like.”
Another model, Liz O’Donnell, who is a sister of Zeta Tau Alpha, liked that Love Your Body day is full of different things that focus on learning to help others.
“Even if you tried to change it, your body would naturally go back to what it is supposed to be,” O’Donnell said. “But that’s beautiful. You are what you are, and what you are is unique.”
Clare Hoggerty is a first- year student majoring in English. She can be reached at CH757342@wcupa.edu.