Safe sex and fabulous ‘fits

By Grace McCarthy

Six thousand condoms dressed eight models strutting through the aisles of Fraser Hall for the fifth annual Condom Fashion Show on Thursday, May 10.

The show, hosted by Western’s Planned Parenthood Generation club and Mount Baker Planned Parenthood, aimed to promote healthy sexual education.

Attendees raised $256 for Mount Baker Planned, according to Erin Montgomery, Planned Parenthood Generation spring 2018 event coordinator.

The theme for this year was “Out of this World!,” inspiring costumes ranging from Star Wars characters to space cowgirls.

The teams consisted of two to four members who designed outfits made entirely of or covered in condoms.

This year’s show boasted the largest turnout so far, with eight teams competing.

Teams competed for a $250 grand prize and the audience won over $300 worth of prizes.

Junior Anastasia Duvall led her team, the Denim Divas, to first place. Despite it taking her team days to create the outfit and three hours to do her hair and makeup, Duvall said all the hard work paid off. Duvall worked the runway in a plunging blue bodysuit, asymmetrical silver skirt and endless glitter.

“I was in complete shock, complete. Jaw dropped, face cracked, everything. Wig scalped, I was shook,” Duvall said. “I can’t believe it.”

Duvall said the audience was her favorite part of the show.

“The atmosphere was hyped,” she said. “It was all about building up each other. Everyone was complementing each other, everyone was so supportive.”

Planned Parenthood Generation Coordinator Ali Brenes, who organized the event, said it was empowering to put her feelings into actions.

“The idea behind [the show] is to promote safe sex and condom use,” Brenes said. “I think people can feel kind of awkward about those subjects so this is a fun way to break down those barriers and get people talking.”

Planned Parenthood Generation also hosts Safe Sex Fridays in Red Square to promote sexual health education, Brenes said.

Montgomery said she worked nine to 11 hours each week during spring quarter to make the event a reality.

Montgomery said a goal of hers was to make this year’s event inclusive for everyone. This included making the venue accessible, having many gender identities and sexual orientations represented in the teams and making the emcees’ script inclusive to all.  

“I believe all people regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or socioeconomic status should have access to affordable, judgment-free healthcare and that’s the mission of Planned Parenthood,” Montgomery said.

Despite not having the Viking Union Multi-Purpose Room this year due to construction and having teams drop out at the last minute, Montgomery said all the challenges were worth it to help create a more sex-positive community.

“Conversations about safe sex aren’t ‘out of this world’,” Montgomery said.

Western’s Dead Parrots Society, Prevention and Wellness Services and Whatcom Teen Council also performed skits throughout the show.

Bernes encouraged anyone interested in feminist issues or educating peers about sexual health to attend a Planned Parenthood Generation meeting. The meetings are every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in Academic West 305.

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