Even if it was for only one night, students of all shapes and sizes owned the NIU Holmes Student Center.
Hosted by the Women’s Resource Center, students from NIU and the surrounding DeKalb community took to the runway Tuesday, April 3, for the “Own It! Embrace Your Beauty” fashion show in the Duke Ellington Ballroom.
The show focused on promoting healthy body image and raising awareness for eating disorders.
In collaboration with NIU alumna Lee Ann Park, designer and owner of the Little in the Middle clothing line, and Johanna Kandel, president and CEO of The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness, the show provided students the opportunity to strut their stuff in front of nearly 500 attendees.
Lisa Schmidt, acting director of the Women’s Resource Center, said J.C. Penney was a significant community partner for the event.
“JCP in DeKalb sponsored clothing, accessories, shoes, hair styling, makeup and product donations for gift bags,” Schmidt said. “It was a very successful communiversity collaboration.”
Kandel says it’s estimated that nearly 30 percent of college students suffer from eating disorders or disordered eating, and it is important to continue to bring awareness to the issue.
“By having an event like this, we’re starting the conversation and we’re really starting to talk about the fact that people are struggling, but there is help and people can and do recover,” Kandel said.
Highlights of the evening included a student art exhibit from the NIU student organization ARS Nova, a performance by Rhythm Nation Dance Team and a prerecorded video message from former DeKalb resident and supermodel Cindy Crawford.