Fashion show promotes self-esteem

Sophomore Ashlea Hodge models for the SMAC fashion show that took place Wednesday night in the Thad Cochran Ballroom. Zachary Odom/Printz
Sophomore Ashlea Hodge models for the SMAC fashion show that took place Wednesday night in the Thad Cochran Ballroom.
Zachary Odom/Printz

On Feb. 12, the Southern Miss Activities Council put on a pretty impressive fashion show in the Thad Cochran Center that brought up interesting viewpoints on beauty, fashion and self-esteem.

What is the first thing that pops into your head when you think fashion show? If you said super thin, impossibly beautiful men and women modeling all the latest fashions by all the hottest designers, you would be absolutely correct. However, SMAC committee members Kirisa Mahon, Lindsey Martin and Kierra Garner felt that this was something that had already been done. In their two-month long planning, they decided to take fashion to a completely different level.

They had no intentions of showing people all of the latest fashions.

This fashion show is unique because it is not only a fashion show. It is a commentary on individualism, style and confidence. But it wasn’t just a fashion show; it was a theatrical play as well. Backstage before the fashion show, I spoke with models, organizers and the SMAC organizing committee who shared the same vision of the upcoming show.

The main character, portrayed by Heather Kmiec, is a girl who goes on a fashion adventure to find herself and find her confidence, and the models are there to help her. Style and fashion are about confidence and having self-esteem. So in each skit, when she gets a new piece of clothing from the other models, she finds out something new about herself. For instance, in the last scene when she is given shoes, she learns how to dance.
Mahon took a moment out of her very hectic schedule and introduced me to Kmiec by saying that she was the most important person in the show. Kmiec very modestly laughed it off and talked through her mouthful of Krispie Kreme doughnut about how excited she was. “It’s going to be different and a lot of fun,” Kmiec said.

Martin let me have a bit more insight into the fashion show, what it meant and what it was supposed to be. “We really want to accomplish showing what self-esteem is and confidence,” Martin said. “It’s not all about how you look and with each clothing article (Kmiec) gets, she learns how to use it.”

“It’s more than she’s wearing it and that’s what makes her good,” Martin said. “Furthermore, the fashion show will show people that Southern Miss is not a place where you have to be cool to fit in. It’s a place of acceptance and it’s a place of showing girls that we’re going to be your friends no matter how you dress. We’re all equal.”

The show included clothes from Mostly Macie’s, Salvation Army, Men’s Warehouse, Natalie & Co. and Polly Esther’s Closet. SMAC also enlisted some on-hand help with hair and makeup from the Fashion Merchandising Organization and Gifted Hands Salon.

They even got the dance groups Rhythm Rush, Asso and High Def to help out. The fashion show was followed by a huge dance after party. Girls can now remember the fashion show that was not all about glitz and glamour. The committee hopes girls walked away from the show feeling empowered, confident and beautiful.