‘Love the Skin You’re In’ fashion show promotes healthy body image

Kelsey Ruane

Students, faculty and staff modeled the latest in campus fashions in the fifth annual ‘Love the Skin You’re In’ fashion show on Feb. 16 to promote the importance of a healthy body image.

Implemented by the Office of Health Promotion, the show coincided with the upcoming National Eating Disorders Awareness Week from Feb. 22-28.

The show featured Wildcat spirit, comfort and active wear, business and black-tie attire and for the first time, multicultural and sun-safe fashion.

The evening began with a PowerPoint presentation put together by sophomore Alyssa Mitola, with help from the Office of Health Promotion and the University Counseling Center.

The presentation discussed the effects of the media on both male and female body image.

About 725 to 750 people attended, according to Kathryn Quinlan, assistant director of the Office of Health Promotion.

A mix of sororities, fraternities, parents and community members turned the fashion show, which was free and open to the public, into a large Villanova community event.

“When addressing a topic of this nature, it is imperative to engage our students,” Quinlan said. “We cannot simply approach a large group with a microphone and say, ‘Here is how to identify behaviors associated with an unhealthy body image.’ Through our series of events we were able to implement several types of programming to deliver the message more effectively,” she said of the pairing of the fashion show with the screening of the documentary “America the Beautiful” on Feb. 5.

Darryl Roberts, the filmmaker, was present after the screening of the documentary to discuss his investigation of America’s obsession with physical perfection.

The message had two tones, or moods, according to Quinlan.

The first was upbeat, produced by the fashion show, which celebrated a healthy body image. The second was more serious, confronting the negative messages found in the media.

Toner Sound provided professional sound and lighting for the fashion show, while various Main Line businesses donated clothing.

The fashion show also featured performances from Supernovas, Villanova University’s Dance Team, Motunrayo Ogunkua, DeVon Jackson, Haveners, Irish Dancers and Nothing But Treble.

“I was very pleased with the success of the Love the Skin You’re In fashion show,” Quinlan said. “We met our goal of promoting and raising awareness of a healthy body image on Villanova’s campus.”