Students promote positive body image through unorthodox fashion show


Maria Cardona

Laura Maynard, sophomore business major and c3F treasurer, developed the idea for the show after realizing traditional models do not represent all body types. 


Students of varying body types, ethnicities and genders walked down a catwalk in evening gowns, jeans and t-shirts, backwards flannel shirts, and even 3D printed apparel as part of the “Victoria’s Real Secret? She loves burgers!” fashion show.

The event located at 618 S. Michigan Ave. Building on Stage Two Oct. 18, was organized by Columbia College Chicago Feminists Club and the Columbia College Fashion Association.

Several of the outfits worn by the 12 student models were designed by CCFA members, according to Hannah Siglin, sophomore theatre major and president of C3F.

“We want to promote body positivity, just being comfortable in your skin no matter what you look like,” Siglin said. “Just be proud of who you are.”

This fashion show was the first event C3F hosted after changing its name from the Women in Film Club, according to Laura Maynard, sophomore theatre major and C3F treasurer.

“It very organically became a feminist organization as opposed to a women in film club,” Maynard said.

Maynard said the idea for C3F to host the unique catwalk came after she watched Victoria’s Secret fashion show clips with a group of friends, Maynard said, adding that her friends were against the company because they thought people who looked like them were not included by the retailer.

The event’s goal was to broaden society’s view of beauty and promote body positivity, Siglin said.

“All of [the models] are beautiful, and most of them don’t fit into the standards of beauty, but they are still beautiful,” said Allyson Earnshaw, freshman photography major and event attendee.

Molly Quinn and Rebecca Martin, both sophomore fashion studies majors, helped coordinate outfits and designed several of them as well. Fabrics with 3D prints were used in two of the outfits featured in the show, one of which Quinn modeled herself.

Quinn’s outfit, which included a black skeletal structure draped around the torso like a vest, was created last year but was never worn until the event, she said.

“To create something that is different from the norm, and for it to be worn by people who aren’t typical runway models, is important because they are real people,” Quinn said.

Fifty-five people attended the show according to the event’s sign-in.

After the show, the audience was invited to walk down the catwalk and enjoy complimentary food, drink and music.

“Everyone was their own body type and they also picked clothes they wanted and that was great,” said Hadley Robinson, freshman fashion studies major and model in the show. “Other fashion show [models] are all the same size [wearing] people’s collections, and it doesn’t really show the rest of the world.”

The fashion industry is changing in the sense that more unique items of clothing are being made for people with more diverse body sizes, according to Quinn. 

“I know a lot of people that want to design plus size, and I think that it is becoming more popular, especially in a field that is really competitive,” Quinn said. “If you want to serve a niche market and you’re passionate about that, you can be successful. You can be successful because there’s such a huge market for it but people aren’t serving it.”