Ophelia's Place takes back the runway

Third annual fashion show benefit held Feb. 7

You spent an hour fixing your hair, another 30 minutes choosing an outfit and you took one more quick-look in the mirror to see a smile of personal approval. Now you're in the car listening to the radio that's blasting some Hollywood gossip complete with the latest plastic surgery buzz.

Even though you might have left the house with a kick in your step, something makes you second-guess your confidence.

Am I beautiful?

A second guess like this one happens more often than not, according to Mary Ellen Clausen, the Ophelia's Place executive director. Because a non-profit like Ophelia's Place promotes healthy lifestyles and positive outlooks on the diversity of beauty, the idea of "taking back the runway" means a lot to so many women.

Ophelia's Place hosted its third annual Revolutionizing the Runway Fashion Show Sunday Feb. 7 at the Liverpool Community Church.

The show included fashions from Rescue Mission Thrifty Shopper, Target and The Cheryl Geiger Collection. Ann Marie Stonecypher's AMS Models provided talent.

The fashion show represents the "real women," Clausen said.

"What I love about it is it's an opportunity to put another face on what we do," Clausen said about the non-profit's fashion show.

Each year, the show has featured Ann Marie Stonecypher Models of all shapes and sizes in a wide age range. The diversity of the models has allowed community members to envision their own beauty as beauty that can work a fashion runway, said Joslyn Smith, Ophelia's Place director of planning and research.

"The purpose behind the event is to give a platform for everyone," Smith said. "Everyone's behind them, to help them meet the challenge."

The support from others is what helps women gain the courage to accept who they are and be themselves, said Lori Rhoads, fashion show marketing coordinator.

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