True Beauty Fashion Show

On February 23, 2018, local boutiques will highlight their “coolest looks” at the 15th annual, student-run True Beauty Fashion Show at the Vue in Columbus, Ohio. While adorned with fun, the professional-level show, put on entirely by high school students from Columbus Academy, is about far more than fashion. The event celebrates beauty in all shapes, colors and sizes and raises awareness about eating disorders. All proceeds from the event are donated to The Center for Balanced Living, a local non-profit that specializes in the treatment of eating disorders.

An estimated 70 million men, women and children worldwide are affected by eating disorders, which have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Carly Shocket, one of the organizers for this year’s fashion show, knows first-hand the devastating reality of having an eating disorder and the empowerment found in recovery. Through the fashion show, she hopes to remind students they are not alone and to inspire them to seek help.

Shocket shared, “Once the demons start to go away, you feel this weight releasing off of you that's indescribable. Students have pressure to be perfect, whether it’s in their academic studies, athletic endeavors, and even how they look. There is talk of body image in any high school hallway. Students may be afraid to admit their faults or see talking about their feelings as week. We are trying to change that with this show. It takes a lot to organize a charity benefit at 17 or 18 years old.  To envision the people we are helping be able to achieve the same feats I did in recovery, like going out to eat worry-free or not giving a thought about attending family holiday dinners, makes me think that all the work we are doing for the show is directly impacting people's lives for the better. You forget about the work you have to do when it makes you feel so good to do it.”

In previous years, the fashion show has raised over $10,000, an amazing feat for students and an amazing gift to the beneficiary, The Center for Balanced Living (CBL). “The Center for Balanced Living is a remarkable resource to have in our area and they have changed the lives of so many,” says Shocket. “I wish I (were) old enough to be treated there when I fought my disorder. The research there (is) incomparable to anywhere else around. (CBL) treats you individually and doesn't treat everyone in the same one-size-fits-all mold, and that's what makes it so well-renowned in the area.”