Hosted by the Nu Chapter of Eta Sigma Gamma, a national professional health science honorary organization, this year’s Condom Fashion Show piqued the interest of several students, beginning the show with a full house.
Special guests JuJubee and Sasha Belle, contestants from the popular television show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, helped to ?garner attention with their appearance.
“I think it’s great for promoting safe sex and everything, which is the purpose of the event,” said IU junior Jon Jagt.
“But I have to say that JuJubee is really what drew me to this, to be honest. She’s one of my favorite drag queens. When I first started watching RuPaul’s Drag Race. It was Season 2 when she was on the show, so I’m just really excited.”
Co-sponsored by the Union Board, Center for Sexual Health Promotion and Graduate and Professional Student Organization, the show began ?at 8 p.m.
Prior to the show, free HIV testing was provided by Positive Link, a program of IU Health Bloomington Hospital Community Health that is the main source of comprehensive prevention and holistic social services for those affected by HIV in south ?central Indiana.
The show began with its host and “Bloomington’s favorite drag queen” Argenta Perón, followed by drag son Titanium Perón, who came out in the first condom-inspired look with four back-up dancers.
A brief condom demonstration was led by Argenta, selecting four audience volunteers to help go through the proper steps in putting on a condom.
Argenta’s humor helped bring a light-hearted attitude to the ?demonstration, and put audience members at ease.
RuPaul stars Sashe Belle and JuJubee were up next, dancing down the runway, interacting with and collecting tips from audience members as they amped them up for the show.
Models walked out to the spotlight of center stage with their own styles and personalities and proceeded to strut around the runway as audience members cheered and hollered.
Some models both designed and modeled their looks, while others made their designer’s visions come to life.
The designs that ?sashayed down the runway were comprised of several vibrant colors, and designers had unusual approaches as to how they utilized condoms in their garments.
“The theme (of the show) was ‘Dive In,’ so I was thinking an ‘Under the Sea’ theme, 1960s prom meets Spongebob Squarepants,” said local Bloomington designer Sandy Baker.
“I wanted to make something 3-D with the use of condoms, nothing flat. And the glitter was for the drag queens.”
Pairing the glamour and hype of a fashion show with useful information about sexual health and safety was a wise tactic in drawing people into the event.
The night’s festivities offered a much more approachable, exciting way to promote and discuss important issues on the ?subject.
“It inspires people to come out and learn about condom use and make smart decisions about sex,” said Cagney Gladin, an IU senior on the event ?committee.
“It’s a fun way to get people out here, but there’s still such an educational component. I did it last year, and I’ve had a great time doing it.”
The large, diverse group of students in attendance, as well as multiple student organizations working together to produce the event allowed for something bigger than any one group ?or student.
It brought light to a universal topic that affects everyone on campus and the Bloomington community in general.
“All you have to do in life is spread love and live happily,” Jujubee said.
This story has been corrected.