A fashion show that aims to build the self esteem of people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and prove to the audience that HIV can happen to anyone.
The show will consist of positive and negative models. The HIV status of the models will not be disclosed to the audience. The message will be all of the models know their HIV status, do you? The mirror will never tell if you’re positive or not because we are all “Positively Beautiful!”
The first positively beautiful was held during the Positive Youth Institute of the Ryan White Youth Conference on AIDS 2006. Everyone in the audience was positive and yet it was difficult to get participants to model due to the fact that people didn’t want to be involved with anything HIV related that put them in a spotlight.
The models will learn how to overcome fear of stigma and rejection around testing and disclosure. They will become comfortable with the idea of talking about HIV, and encouraging others to get tested. They will also gain a boost of confidence by learning that they are Beautiful even after being diagnosed with something that society has deemed ugly, un-attractive, and un-sexy.
The audience will see confident people who have gotten over the initial fear of getting a test. They will gain the knowledge that HIV positive people don’t have “a look.” They will be encouraged to get tested and they will be provided with information about how and where to go get tested. If there happens to be any HIV positive people in the audience they will be given a chance to see the concept of HIV pared with beauty.
The fashion show will expand beyond the runway by providing information to include: free testing site, self esteem building exercises for positive people, peer support, and counseling for newly diagnosed people.
* “job interview appropriate” outfit to send models home with to thank them for their participation.
-Printed programs and informative handouts for audience
-Sound equipment (for M.C.)