Since it’s inception in 2016 Fashion is for Every Body has impacted over a thousand lives firsthand in the greater Middle Tennessee area and reached tens of thousands more through press, social media and word-of-mouth.
What we do may seem shallow and superficial but it resonates with people on a personal level. Participants and observers connect with their own sense of self-worth and gain a greater appreciation for the value of others regardless of their age, race, size, physical ability, gender identity or sexual orientation. Our projects also encourage interaction and inclusion versus segregation and exclusion. We don’t segregate; we celebrate!
“I was injured at 18 in a vehicle accident on my way to Future Soldier training for the Army. I became a C4 C5 quadriplegic…When I was told about the inclusive fashion show I wanted to be a part of it because I feel like all people should have an equal opportunity in all aspects of life, including fashion. I may not be the daintiest, girliest girl and dress up all the time, but I do love sparkles and glitter and shoes and clothes! Being a part of fashion is for everybody has been a great opportunity to get out of my element and put myself out there, which has led to meeting some really awesome people.” - Chelsie Nitschke
“I have always been a fat girl. Like so many other adolescents, sexual trauma shaped my perception of who I was. I no longer wanted to be the “pretty girl”; I wanted to hide from the world, from the humiliation. So, I hid within myself…Now, I celebrate the diversity within the world; the strength that is within each person...[Fashion is for Every Body] has allowed me to further embrace who I am and celebrate the beauty that is within each of us. By being a part of this amazing shift in perception, I have been able to share my story with other young girls and witness the confidence that it brings to their lives. If this fat girl can let her light shine, anyone can.” - Heidi Oechsel
“FIFEB literally re-invented the runway and made me see fashion in a whole new light: getting dressed and doing hair/make-up should be a fun daily ritual...an inclusive celebration for everybody. When you make an effort to look your best, you feel damn good about yourself. That’s something we ALL deserve to feel. That song, “Spill the Wine” by Eric Burdon and War summed up [the runway show] 2018 for me: that feeling of having your 15 seconds of fame, about being vulnerable and exposed and hanging out with all kinds of people [including] Old ones like me!” - Nina Thomas