Fashion for Freedom — a student group that seeks to end a perceived rape culture on college campuses and reverse potentially degrading media portrayals of women, among other goals — staged a mock fashion show on the Diag on Friday to protest advertisements that arguably promote sexual violence and human trafficking.

LSA junior Savannah Dupin, a Fashion for Freedom co-founder, said she felt the event was a fun way to engage peers in fighting human trafficking as a part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

“I became involved because I am passionate about preventing trafficking in high risk areas and I see the devastation that this brings all the time,” she said. “It is difficult to do this kind of work because you realize how many cultural norms are working against you.”

As part of the event, student models carried signs with sexually suggestive advertisements on them, and dressed up to mirror the women in these ads to bring attention to the level of media objectification. Others held signs that read: “Sexual objectification portrays women as sexual objects rather than individuals with their own experiences and personalities,” and “Sexual objectification often portrays women as submissive to men.”

The group asked local stores to take a pledge not to objectify women in their advertisements. Several Ann Arbor retailers signed the document, including The Getup Vintage, Pitaya, Bivouac, The M Den and Ragstock.

Lisa Weiss, the women’s fashion manager for Bivouac, said the march was constructive for dialogue, but could have caught the store’s patrons off guard.

“I believe in what they are doing and it is an interesting concept in order to shock and get attention (for the cause),” she said. “I didn’t have anything against them coming into the store, but I have no idea how my customers feel about it and the way it’s done could scare people.”

Attendees marched through a number of the participating stores along State Street, applauding them for their respectful advertising and protesting stores like American Apparel for sexualizing women’s bodies in their advertisements.

LSA freshman Rachel Beglin, Fashion for Freedom co-founder, said she is passionate about this issue and wants to continue raising awareness by keeping people informed through events like the Fashion for Freedom show on the Diag and the subsequent march down State Street.

“The models were dressed as the people in the ads to show that they are not 2-D and cannot be objectified,” Beglin said. “We were bringing them to life to show that they are real people.”

The group engaged in a moment of silence at American Apparel to show its disapproval of their ad campaigns, which members believe contribute to bigger societal issues, including rape and sexual violence toward women.

LSA freshman Natalie Drobny, who modeled as part of the show, stressed that the objectification of women in the media has been an ongoing issue for decades.

“I think that it is really important to raise awareness of stores that are still using ads that are derogatory toward women,” Drobny said. “We had ads from every single decade and it’s not getting any better — big chain stores are still involved. It sounded like a really cool thing to be involved in.”

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