Guest blog post written by Nisa Hussain, Co-Chair of Sex Week at Maryland.
The University of Maryland, College Park, hosted The 2016 Condom Fashion Show this past March and it was a huge success, thanks to the support of ONE condoms.
Sex Week at Maryland is a student organization whose mission is to educate and empower the campus community on safe, healthy sex. The student group hosts engaging events to provide students with accurate, inclusive information on a variety of topics, ranging from sexual identity to female pleasure to the basics of protected sex. One of their largest efforts are their annual "Condom Couture" style events.
The 3rd Annual Condom Fashion Show is an event held in honor of National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on April 10th. This year, on March 2nd, The 2016 Condom Fashion Show hosted 10 models representing various student groups to strut down a runway wearing an outfit made entirely of condoms.
Students were given total freedom to craft a design made only of condoms, provided by ONE, along with a chosen song and message about their outfit that said something important about sexual health. Participants were judged based on creativity, visual aesthetic, and message. To give you a taste, our first place winner, Izzie, wore a delightful condom dress and boots paired with an umbrella, and strutted a lively performance to "It's Raining Men" before making it rain with condoms for the audience!
It was a fun evening of modeling, music, prizes, photo booths, and food! Our M.C. gave a warm shout out to ONE condoms several times through out the event, we used extra ONE condoms as giveaways for our informational tables, and the three winners all received the special packages of ONE products—so thank you again for being the backbone of this event!
The Condom Fashion Show was an important event, not because of the huge turnout of the audience or the hilarious display of creativity, but because of its mission to educate a community with innovation. When students are given the opportunity to utilize condoms in such a creative way, it starts an important conversation.
We hope that dialogue can lead to the destigmatization of STI/HIV contraction and testing, as well as the use of contraceptive measures without shame. We hope that by hosting this fun event, we are encouraging a positive, less shameful view of our sexual health.
Condoms prevent the transmission of STIs and HIV and it’s incredibly important that we keep our bodies and our partners healthy and protected. We hope to raise awareness of the serious effects of HIV/AIDS and the methods to prevent the spread, all while lovingly supporting those affected by it.
Young adults under 24 account for more than 25% of all new HIV infections. 50% don't even know they are infected. As a college campus, that is our community we are talking about!
We hope to continue hosting this event every year to encourage more students to have some creative fun, get informed, and get tested!