The Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the Bronx hosts an annual fashion show for students in grades five through twelve. This year, two girls wanted to do something completely different and came up with a plan to promote Planned Parenthood through fashion.
Karolina Montes, 16, and Zoë Balestri, 17, told Yahoo! they wanted to create a fashion that has “more meaning than just being a dress after what’s been happening this past year.” (And by that they mean, President Trump). So the teens used a grant from the school and some of their own money to buy materials from Planned Parenthood that they could use to make two dresses. Once Planned Parenthood learned about the girls’ project, they sent extra pamphlets, stickers, and signs. But what’s a care package from Planned Parenthood without a large supply of condoms? Balestri sewed them by hand to make a bra for her dress, while Montes glued “Today we march, tomorrow we defy” cards onto PVC pipes.
Balestri said, “When I walked down the runway, I think some people thought it was funny that I was wearing condoms on the top, but I think it was a great way to bring people out of their comfort zones a little bit, and de-stigmatize something that shouldn’t carry any stigma at all.”
Montes explained that their idea was motivated by the fact that so many young kids would be in the audience and should learn about what Planned Parenthood does.
“In fifth grade, I didn’t really know about Planned Parenthood and what was going on with the government,” she said. “But with this current administration, we knew we needed to somehow be involved, and this was one way.”
Balestri had much more to say:
“A huge part of our project was just about being young women and showing we can take action and showing what happens when young women take action. We wanted to use our voices to show what Planned Parenthood does for women’s reproductive rights, for abortion rights, for all the things they do to help young mothers.
“It really saddens me that the idea of shutting down or defunding Planned Parenthood is even out there. [Montes and I] are both strong believers in being pro-choice and women having control over their bodies and everything Planned Parenthood supports. It’s really important that young women get involved so we can continue to have our reproductive rights.”
Planned Parenthood featured the dress on its Instagram page, garnering a “like” from a famous supporter of the abortion giant, Miley Cyrus.
Balestri expressed her gratitude for Planned Parenthood’s “work” over the last 100 years.
“That’s amazing — they’ve been doing this for 100 years,” said the teen. “And we’re going to keep supporting them however we can, and we’re always going to continue to be a part of their conversation and their work.”
But besides praise for all that great “work” Planned Parenthood does for women, Balestri was proud to say, “I walked down a red carpet in front of my whole school wearing condoms!”
Her parents must be so proud.