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Wet’n’Wild runway show sells out, caps off women’s week

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Alex Suarez

In a powerful culmination of UPLIFT Women’s Week, Body Haven’s third annual fashion show took center stage, focusing on promoting body positivity within vacation attire. 

Brianna Yrene Ramirez, event coordinator and president of Body Haven, said the club tries to pick a different theme each year. Y2K was the first show’s theme and classic cinema was the second. 

“We aim to prove that everybody is deserving of celebration no matter the size, shape, or color,” Ramirez said, who is a senior film major. She added that the different exclusionary eras of fashion inspired the show to empower people to choose themselves and be proud of who they are.  

Body Haven is a club dedicated to promoting body positivity and the fat liberation movement by defying conventional fashion norms.

“We want it to grow as much as possible,” Ramirez said. “We hope that the message continues.”

The sold-out event, held on Saturday, March 16, on the fifth floor of the Student Center, drew around 165 people, consisting of guests, students and family members of the designers and models, who also geared up for the theme of Summer Vacation.

Juliana Canuto, a junior music major, made her debut as a model during the show. She shared how growing up with many negative body images made this event important to her. 

“Seeing the diversity of models thriving and glowing is really encouraging to every young woman,” she said. “It is important to see how beauty is everywhere…and we should always encourage women to be themselves and shine the way they are.”

Canuto said the show showed her that she can do what she wants. With practice and encouragement from other models, she felt more confident and proud to have done it and enjoyed the runway.

Eight designers participated in the show, each showcasing a different set of collections that captured the theme in different ways. 

Lorena Castro, who is a junior fashion major and one of the designers, said the show is important to promote size inclusivity, which is something the Fashion Department stresses.

“I thought it was very powerful that we always get to do this since this is the third one that we’ve done,” she said.

As the financial director of Body Haven, Castro said that although the club is fairly new, the show was a success because they have never been this big in numbers.

“We set the bar high, so now we gotta set it higher for next year,” she said.

The ideas for Castro’s collection mostly came from her Latin background, which emphasized the beauty of her culture through the use of different colors. 

With the show selling out, family members were prioritized and given available seats, and students stood with just equal enthusiasm and support for the show.

“The energy in the room was really supportive and energetic,” said Cadence Uzarraga, a sophomore graphic design major. “It was really awesome to see all the women represented at the event, from the designers to the models and the performers.” 

Uzarraga said that events like this influence conversations in fashion about policing women’s bodies. 

“The models from the Wet’n’Wild show embodied the message that your self-expression is up to you and shouldn’t be policed by the opinions of others,” she said.

Despite having to stand up for the duration of the show due to the influx of guests, Uzarraga hopes Columbia does more shows like this to showcase student works and get more people involved.

“Maybe more chairs next time, though,” she said. 

As the successful grand finale of Women’s Week, the Wet’n’Wild Runway Show celebrated diversity and inclusivity and served as a vibrant testament to the ongoing progress of the women’s empowerment movement. 

With its resounding call for self-affirmation and unapologetic style, the event left an indelible mark on the campus community, inspiring a new wave of confidence and empowerment.

 

Copy edited by Myranda Diaz

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About the Contributors
klarroder@columbiachronicle.com   Kate Julianne Larroder is a sophomore communications major, minoring in journalism. She joined the Chronicle as a reporter in January 2024.   Hometown: The Philippines
Alex Suarez, Creative Director
asuarez@columbiachronicle.com   Alex Suarez is a senior traditional animation major and has created graphics for Chronicle stories in various sections. She joined the Chronicle in August 2023.   Hometown: Hebron, Indiana