Rubbers and Runways

Fashion designers and volunteers bring awareness to sexual health.

Jackie+Knight%2C+with+the+theme+of+%22Africa%2C%22+won+audience+favorite+as+well+as+Wellness+Center+Best+Message+and+Outfit+at+the+annual+CWU+Condom+Fashion+Show.%0A
Jackie Knight, with the theme of

Jackie Knight, with the theme of "Africa," won audience favorite as well as Wellness Center Best Message and Outfit at the annual CWU Condom Fashion Show.

Xander Fu

Xander Fu

Jackie Knight, with the theme of "Africa," won audience favorite as well as Wellness Center Best Message and Outfit at the annual CWU Condom Fashion Show.


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When people think of condoms, they think of them as a form of protection during sex. They usually don’t associate them with fashion, but that all changed during the annual Condom Fashion Show.

The Wellness Center put on the 2018 Condom Fashion Show as the highlight of Sexual Health Week last Wednesday, April 11. Sexual Health Week at CWU is part of a national campaign known as GYT, which stands for “Get Yourself Tested.”

The campaign encourages people to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and in a matter of two days, more than 60 students were tested for free at CWU.

Models and designers joined together to help coordinate and put on a fashion show that allowed students to participate in answering sexual education questions and to pick the winning model for “Best Outfit” and “Best Message.”

This was the fourth show that the Wellness Center has put on. The idea behind the show came to be four years ago when a staff member had done something like this at a previous school he worked at.

The condom fashion show is usually put on in February because National Condom Week is in February. This is the first year it was put on in April because of GYT month.

Health Education Coordinator Erin Reeh said, “[The show] a fun way to interact with people and reduce stigma around condom use.”

According to Reeh, the condom fashion show was connected with GYT month in order to make it a bigger event.

Senior Sam Thurston, a designer and model for the event, said the process of coming up with her outfit and message was her favorite part of the process.

Thurston said the fashion show was a “perfect way to get involved” in raising awareness of sexual topics. She was a first-time model and wanted to go with a more fun and comfortable outfit.

Sophomore Maurice Watkins, also model and designer, said he enjoyed being on the runway because “once you get up there you can feel everyone’s energy on you.”

Watkins said that the show gave “great awareness,” while “practicing safe sex” and having fun. He also believed it was a way to retain information about safe sex.

The fashion show consisted of eight designers who were responsible for designing an outfit made out of condoms and included a special message to go along with the theme of the outfit.

In between each model showcasing their condom-made outfits, the audience participated in answering trivia questions. Some of the questions consisted of “what is the best contraceptive?” and “what kind of STDs people can get treated for?” There was even a portion of the show dedicated to learning the proper use and disposal of a condom.

The contest portion of the show included three categories: Audience Favorite, Wellness Staff Favorite, and Best Message. At the end of the show, the audience and the Wellness Center staff chose Mama Africa as the winner for best outfit and message.

Model and winner Jackie Knight said her goal for the Mama Africa outfit was to raise awareness about AIDS.

“In Africa [people] don’t talk about AIDs or like that, but they exist, so they’re practically dying from it and people and even parents don’t really advise you to go get tested and people get married without getting tested which is not good,” Knight said.

Reeh reflected on the overall experience of participating in the Condom Fashion Show.

“It’s a little stressful trying to get all the pieces together, especially when you’re coordinating people, making sure they sign up, making sure people show up and follow through. But for the most part it has been a really positive experience,” Reeh said.

The event was a success for both CWU and GYT month.

“We’ve had great support on campus from other departments,” Reeh said. Some of these departments were the Student Medical & Counseling Center, Hype, Bluestone Intel Cosmetology Academy and the Burg.

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Rubbers and Runways