Fashion show promotes National Eating Disorder Awareness week

By Kia Clair

The Own It! Embrace Your Beauty fashion show brought students together for a night of entertainment and information sharing.

More than 400 people attended the second annual Own It! Embrace Your Beauty fashion show, which was hosted by the Women’s Resource Center.

This event was based around National Eating Disorder Awareness week and attendees learned about the harms of eating disorders.

“It’s more than a fashion show,” said Lisa Schmidt, director of the Women’s Resource Center. “It’s awareness of the body image. The inspiration came to us from Lee Ann Park. She got tired of going to department stores and trying to fit into jeans that didn’t fit, so she created her own clothing line, Little in the Middle.”

The show was held Thursday in the Holmes Student Center’s Duke Ellington Ballroom.

“I looked forward to seeing everybody dressed up,” said Sarah Hunter, sophomore rehabilitation services major. “I heard about the fashion show from my sorority, Delta Zeta. We all thought it would be interesting, so we came to support and have some fun.”

The fashion show featured resource tables from various NIU organizations. The organizations provided free gifts to participants, sharing information about health awareness, pens, piggy banks, ChapsStick and book bags, said Jailon Berry, student staff assistant and sophomore nursing major.

A table called “Choices Matter” provided information on drinking alcohol. Facts about party tips, leadership, responsibility and civic reflection were provided at the table.

“Our fashion show is different from all the rest,” Schmidt said. “The guys and girls here tonight are here for a reason. They want to show you who they are as individuals. They will tell you they embrace themselves through their personal aspects of beauty.”

The show started off with the first theme, “Be Natural.” The models wore white shirts and blue and black shorts, and they walked the runway barefoot. After this theme, the audience was entertained by DJ Tumbao, a Latino group of eight which partnered dancing to cultural music.

The performance was followed by the theme “Beauty with Flare.” Models were dressed in gold, leather and checkered clothing. They walked the catwalk to a variety of music, including “Moves like Jagger,” by Maroon 5.

The “Beauty and Style” theme followed; it was business-based with a twist. Models were dressed in business attire with fun, bright colors. The show wrapped up with the “Little in the Middle” clothing line, where models wore red, black and white attire.

“I got involved through the Women’s Resource Center,” said Dominique Lanking, fashion show model and junior corporate communications major. ”They let me know they wanted to do a show around eating disorders and I was hyped. I enjoyed all of it: learning to be in a different group of diverse people and just meeting people who I normally wouldn’t be with. I also enjoyed the fast pace of the show.”