CU Colorado Springs 'Condom Couture' fashion show aims to 'de-stigmatize HIV/AIDS'
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is putting on a fashion show to show support for AIDS awareness. The only catch: the dresses are to be made from condoms.
The “Condom Couture Fashion Show” is meant to educate students on the sexual health issues. The poster states that the event is geared toward, “de-stigmatizing HIV/AIDS and other issues of sexual health.”
“I don’t know if making dresses out of things like condoms is a great idea...”
CU Colorado Springs students, when asked about how they feel about the event, offered an array of responses.
“I don’t know if making dresses out of things like condoms is a great idea,” says David Song, a major in criminal justice in his second year. “But if the awareness and information is meant to be in a mind blowing way, then it might work.”
Another student added that she feels that the event doesn’t normalize anything about HIV/AIDS, nor does it promote awareness of any sorts.
“On the flyer it says that the goal is to de-stigmatize HIV/AIDS but in all reality how exactly is that doing that?” asked Haileigh Willeford, a junior, “Can’t you just have an educational workshop, in a classroom, about it?”
The campus’s Multicultural Office for Student Access, Inclusiveness, and Community (MOSAIC) and LGBT Resource Center are the driving forces behind the event, which has the stated aim of showing students “outrageously stylish condom couture fashion designs.”
Other posters calling for designers have also been posted around the campus, as well. Another student, who wished to remain anonymous, told Campus Reform, that condom fashion shows should not be used to educate students on HIV/AIDS.
“We (the administration) are supportive of efforts to educate students about these important topics and believe that overt efforts such as a Condom Fashion Show are appropriate for an adult audience which includes UCCS students,” CU Colorado Springs spokesperson Tom Hutton said in an email to Campus Reform.
“It is our understanding that the purpose of the program is to highlight the importance of prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies,” Hutton asserted.
Hutton also explained that the event’s co-sponsors include the Southern Colorado AIDS Project and the college’s student health center. He also made it clear that the show is an optional event for an intended age of 25 years, which coincides with the average age of the students at CU-Colorado Springs.
Condom fashion shows are popping up at college campuses across the country. One show at Indiana University was put on just ahead of Valentine’s day with the goal of teaching people about condoms because there is “a lot of stigma” around them.
Hutton also stated that the event will front run World AIDS Awareness day, which is already has national programming similar to that of the MOSAIC office.
The Southern Colorado AIDS Project did not respond to a request for comment from Campus Reform in time for publication.
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