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Revolution on the runway

What's hot on the runways for spring?

If the fashion show held at Liverpool Community Church this weekend is any indication, it's loving your body, no matter what size it is.

LCC played host to "Revolutionizing the Runway," which kicked off Ophelia's Place's new "got beauty?" campaign. The center for eating disorder education and support in Liverpool is trying to get Central New Yorkers to redefine beauty in order to reduce the societal pressures that can lead to eating disorders.

"We don't feel we have an option, but we do," said Mary Ellen Clausen, founder and executive director of Ophelia's Place. "We can negotiate how we see beauty, how the world sees beauty. We can make a change."

Clausen founded Ophelia's Place in 2002 after watching both of her daughters battle eating disorders. Since that time, the center has helped thousands of people through the same struggle.

Now, Clausen is looking to change the way the world defines beauty in order to eliminate the cultural pressure to be thin.

"Revolutionizing the Runway" was the first step in that campaign. The fashion show, held Sunday afternoon, featured models from AMS Models as well as Ophelia's Place staffers and family members and showcased fashions from Target and Boom Babies. Hosted by international plus-size model Emme, the show included men and women of all ages, sizes and body types.

The show marked the culmination of nearly two years of planning. Clausen said the idea was borne out of a conversation with AMS owner Anne Marie Stonecypher at least a year and a half ago.

"We met through a mutual friend and we were just talking, and Anne Marie said, 'I need to do something, what can I do to help you?'" Clausen said. At the time, Stonecypher's daughter was 10 or 11. "So we started batting ideas back and forth."

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