Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
February 1, 2009
Modelling program leads young women into a life of virtue
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
SPRUCE GROVE - Rejecting the spaghetti straps, short shorts and cleavage-bearing tops, young women are learning more about dressing fashionably without compromising their modesty.
Pure Fashion is an eight-month model-training program, in operation from September until May, that teaches virtues and modest fashion to girls between the ages of 14 and 18.
"Pure Fashion is for high school students, and that's a really important age because girls are so affected by the media," said Karleen Rhodes, 17, a high school student from Devon.
"It's good to get them involved with something that they like, such as fashion. Through fashion, you can teach them about virtues and the ways of the Church."
Thirty-six girls are involved in this year's program in Spruce Grove, 19 of them from Holy Trinity Parish. These are girls who were drawn to the secular world of fashion, hairstyles and makeup.
Pure Fashion introduced them to authentic femininity - that of interior beauty and the desire to dress in accordance with dignity.
"Each session is geared around a specific virtue, and incorporates a lot of what is interesting for young women.
"We basically want to teach them about their own inherent beauty as children of God, in the image and likeness of God," said Monique MacQuarrie, who runs the program at Holy Trinity.
"Dressing appropriately and modestly is a big part of it, and learning how to carry themselves and have respect for themselves so that others respect them," said MacQuarrie.
The vision of Pure Fashion is to expand Christ's kingdom by cultivating the virtue of modesty as a means to protect and preserve purity, elevating the dignity of women.
The program runs in conjunction with the Nothing More Beautiful series.
TALKS ON VIRTUES
"The group sessions are led by women who have grown in their Catholic faith and have done some vocational work. They are all about university age, and a lot of them belong to the Regnum Christi group. They do the virtues talks to the younger girls," said MacQuarrie.
Already the participants have gone to a mother/daughter tea at the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald, where they learned about proper etiquette and manners. Themed the Joy of Giving, at Christmastime the teenage girls entertained children with an afternoon of games and crafts. Elegant Expressions is a session on public speaking and being convicted in their faith.
In January is Reflections, an activity day that the girls have been looking forward to the most.
"It's the one where they get to do all of the hair, makeup, and all of that fun, girly sort of stuff, like a spa day," said MacQuarrie. "They get to feel good about themselves, learn more about self-esteem, and most importantly they learn how we reflect ourselves through our actions."
The national director of Pure Fashion will attend the year-end finale in May, which culminates in a first class fashion show.
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