It started over almost two years ago with a Film Festival Entry by students at Holy Names High School. Students Gianluca Inglesi, Stephanie Hewitt and Elisa Durante began a campaign to educate their peers on toxic effects on youth that the media and fashion industry create in the promotion of unrealistic and unattainable body images. In this video they dispelled the myths on the conventional ideals of fashion and launched a rallying cry to accept individuals for who and what they really are…in effect implementing the philosophy and title of their video SAVE BEAUTY.
Answering the call themselves, Gianluca, Stephanie and Elisa came together again last fall and knowing Self Esteem and Body Image were critical factors to their message, they approached the Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Association (BANA) in a proposal for partnership. With a mission to continue their vision and lead by example, once again these youth were determined to tackle the fashion industry head on.
Under the mentorship of Mary Kaye Lucier, BANA Executive Director, the students applied for a special projects grant from the Provincial Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth at CHEO’s Dare to Dream Program.
The Dare to Dream Program provides an opportunity for Ontario youth (18 years of age and under) to get involved in mental health awareness activities. Successful applicants are awarded up to and $5000 (for groups) to do a project that promotes mental health awareness.
The Save Beauty Team proposed a stark contrast to the conventional ideal of fashion through presenting an all inclusive fashion show. Ultimately, it was their intention that through the promotion of fashion for all shapes, sizes and abilities, that their peers and the community at large; including media, retailers and advertiser will stand up against the stigma of conventional ideals and to take action and become a voice for acceptance.
On May 6, 2009 the SAVE BEAUTY fashion show was held with great success to hundreds of youth and members of our community.
BANA is extremely proud of our student organizers and volunteers in their monumental efforts in challenging stero-types, promoting the acceptance of all body shapes and sizes and of course Saving Beauty!