The Stevenson Union’s Diversions Room was full of excitement on Thursday, Jan. 11 as the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) hosted their Body Positivity Fashion Show, coordinated by WRC staff member Brooke Grover. The show celebrated people of all genders, ethnicities, and sizes with models showing off outfits from their own closets that make them feel confident following the overall message, “No Wrong Way to Have a Body.”
Audience member Eaven Backes said, “It was actually a little overwhelming to be suddenly in a space in which all bodies were beautiful, and all the people were beautiful.” She certainly believed Grover effectively expressed her message that night as she believed, “The body positivity feeling was radiating from this room.”
“I’ve had this event in mind since I was a volunteer last year when I helped the staffer who hosted it then,” said Grover. After making an open call for models at the beginning of fall term, Grover was been hard at work making the show a success.
The models hit the runway with five different outfits that night: a fall look, a winter look, a spring look, a summer look, and their favorite outfit from their closet. “This event is all about what makes the models feel good about themselves and what makes them feel like they look amazing,” explained Grover. Not only was the audience overjoyed to see the range of body types on the runway, they were also entertained with examples to further the message of the Body Positive Movement. The event was also filled with performances such as spoken word poems, music videos, and anonymous notes explaining what everyone loves about themselves.
Model Tarae McQueen certainly felt proud of herself while on the runway. That night, McQueen wanted audience members to walk away with the idea that, “Anything you wear that makes you feel beautiful, wear it.” She believes she successfully projected that message when she said, “I go down the runway feeling as confident as I can while stealing as many runway walks from RuPaul’s Drag Race as I can.”
At the end of the night the room was full of support and pride as audience members got a chance to take pictures with their favorite models. Backes explained, “Before the show I was worried the Body Positive Movement hasn’t really been working, but now I see it doesn’t matter that it’s not working on a wide scale because it’s working for individuals to make their lives better.”
“I feel wonderful,” exclaimed McQueen. “Growing up, I had a lot of body issues. I was always the one with the ‘weird’ hair, the ‘weird’ body, so for me this fashion show is a way to express myself to people who are actually going to value me for me.”