Diverse and Inclusive Fashion Show at Northwoods Mall

March 11, 2022

Have you ever bought an outfit only to be disappointed when you put it on and it didn't look anything like it did on the model in the advertisement? This is, unfortunately, a common phenomenon and demonstrates the importance of having diverse models.

On Saturday, March 26, at 3 p.m., The Body Project, a body-positive student group at Bradley University, is hosting "The Real Me! Fashion Show" at Northwoods Mall in Peoria. Bradley students, staff and faculty members will be models for the day wearing clothes from one of the mall's retailers.

"The models will look like real people because they are real people," said The Body Project intern and event co-lead Clara Lawson. "They are a beautiful array of shapes, sizes, abilities, gender expressions, ethnicities, races, and ages that represent the world we live in today."

Each model will be paired with a retailer stylist to help them put together an outfit in which they feel confident and comfortable.

"We want the show to help transform our models' outlooks on themselves," continued Lawson. "We want each model to look back on this and remember that they stood in front of a crowd of strangers and – despite an under-representation of the average person by the fashion industry – that they were that representation for everyone who is just like them."

The idea and planning for this event first started in 2020 but came to a screeching halt when the pandemic hit. The event organizers are excited to finally see this vision come to life. "The Real Me! Fashion Show" is free to attend and all are welcome. No registration is needed.