Beauty that comes in different shapes and sizes
In summer 2012, a student from the Youngstown State University Fashion and Interiors program passed away from an eating disorder. From that moment on, it was the mission of the Students in Fashion and Interiors organization to spread the word about body image awareness and to promote that true beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.
In a lifetime, more than 30 million people will suffer from some type of eating disorder that may include anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. The young woman from the fashion design program was just one of the millions each year that perish from eating disorders.
Stephanie Wood, president of SIFI, said that the organization has decided to become more active within the university, especially since the student’s death last summer.
“We really are trying to change and become more involved,” Wood said. “We really want to make the campus aware of how you can prevent an eating disorder or what to do if you know someone who currently is suffering from an eating disorder.”
Last year, the organization hosted its first “Every-Body” fashion show to promote that every body type is beautiful, unique and special. The show had models from different shapes and sizes model garments that students in the fashion program created.
Wood said that the fashion show was started to honor the life of the woman that passed away.
“We raised money for the family and also different body image awareness foundations that night,” Wood said. “It was really great to show people how a size 0 isn’t the only size you can see on the runway. It was really great to have the awesome turnout that it did.”
Besides the fashion show, the organization has another show planned for next semester called the Live United Fashion Show. This show is designed to unite all campus organizations and invite them to each make a garment and have a representative from each group model what they have created. The group is also planning a body image awareness week for the spring.
Wood said that she hopes students participate in the group’s activities they have planned for the spring.
“It’s just important that everyone realizes they are beautiful in their own way no matter what shape or size they might be,” Wood said. “We really can’t limit ourselves when it comes to spreading the word.”
Emily Palumbo, vice president of SIFI, said that the group has also been doing various food drives and clothing drives to give back to the YSU community.
“We are always trying to increase and recruit members to join,” Palumbo said. “We also want people to know we exist and actually do more than make clothing.”