Monday, August 21, 2006

Safe Sex as a Fashion Statement

Condoms are in the news!!!


TORONTO (Reuters) - Condoms were very much in style as a fashion accessory at the International AIDS Conference in Toronto, showing up on strait-laced men, shy teenagers and African grandmothers.


"There's a great need to de-stigmatize condoms around the world, especially in Africa," said Franck DeRose, executive director of The Condom Project, which aims to get people comfortable about condoms, especially those living in countries where the little piece of latex is considered taboo.

To do that, the project has a program that gets people making their own condom art pin. It all starts with a craft table, packaged condoms, scraps of colored paper, candy and other double-sided tape.

DeRose said that creating wearable art out of condoms attracts people who normally wouldn't wear the prophylactics, let alone touch them or even utter the word.

"It opens the door," said DeRose. "We find that we're very, very successful."

Almost 400,000 condoms have been decorated and turned into brooches or pins around the world including India, Thailand, Senegal and Burkina Faso, he said.

Just this week alone, about 30,000 of the pins have been decorated at the conference, DeRose said.

People from different cultures and backgrounds wear them, trade them and even argue over safe-sex related topics while making them, including when to broach the subject with kids, DeRose said.

"We're not pushing it on people. They come to us and the information is there," said DeRose, adding his group teams up with the local information groups in the communities where his team visits.

"I don't think it's healthy or appropriate to change a culture. But we can change the risky behavior within a community."

DeRose, an artist from Washington, D.C., came up with the idea three years ago while talking about ways to get more people to wear condoms to fight the HIV epidemic. The program has since spread around the world.

34 Comments:

At 2:24 PM, Anonymous anita said...

This is a great idea! Excellent! I remember a carnaval song made in Brazil about 15 years ago whose lyrics preach about the importance of condoms. The whole world should be more engaged in those sort of social propagandas. Great post Glenda!

 
At 2:28 PM, Blogger Time said...

The condom is not the utopia of eliminating STD's, but can save people from suffering and dying.

I wish the religions of the world would be a little less prude and suggest more than the abject failure of the rythm method of preventing women from getting pregnant.

The chuches show little care for humans when it won't even address the reality of STD's among its people, or be willing to recomend condom use to save people from getting sick.

As for condom fashion, if it helps bring awareness, fine. I will not be buying condom shirts. The image of a woman walking towards me wearing a condom dress, says to me that I'm invited for some sexual play with her.

 
At 2:57 PM, Blogger glenda said...

Well i may be reaching, but i think this is more of a social statement than a fashion statement...

 
At 3:03 PM, Anonymous earl bockenfeld said...

Anyway if you just happen to meet that right crowd of 200-300 men, you are fully prepared!!!

Another plus side with a condom dress is that, if things ever get too boring, you can make balloon animals or water-filled baloons.

 
At 3:07 PM, Blogger glenda said...

there you go, Earl, and little pink condom pigs that look like Cheney.

 
At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Adorable Girlfriend said...

I like it. Now can we push for more methods of birth control for men. There is such an unmet need for men and women in the birth control dept.

 
At 3:43 PM, Blogger Peacechick Mary said...

*in a whisper* When working with a group of catholic nuns in Hiati, they gave out condoms. Very hush, hush, but since they were working directly with the AID epidemic, it made good sense.

 
At 6:44 PM, Blogger betmo said...

good idea! hopefully, this will help to promote health around the world.

 
At 7:07 PM, Blogger Blueberry said...

It really kind of looks pretty! Certainly not as hideous as a lot of wedding or bridesmaid gowns I've seen. ;-)

 
At 8:55 PM, Anonymous karena said...

I dig the red condom pants, and I think DeRose is really creative, but a bit misguided. The cultural taboos against condoms is the main reason they are not used, and cultures with those types of taboos are not really the ones who will sport condom wedding gowns and suddenly wear rubbers during sex. Great post by the way, very interesting.

 
At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

awesome Glenda!

 
At 10:14 PM, Blogger GraemeAnfinson said...

That was me

 
At 2:28 AM, Blogger charlie said...

Anything to stop people being more stupid than they already are can only be good thing, Glenda.

 
At 2:30 AM, Blogger sumo said...

Interesting fashion statement.

 
At 3:26 AM, Blogger Grish said...

Anything positive is a good thing...

 
At 4:02 AM, Blogger glenda said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 4:08 AM, Blogger glenda said...

The countries that have been hit the hardest by this disease may not care about fashion. The real purpose is to create talk so that people will begin to be more comfortable with the idea of safe sex. Unfortunately, a lot of women and children are not able to make the choice about proecting themselves.

 
At 6:29 AM, Blogger Mary said...

Yea Glenda that is the sad part. But this is a step in the right direction.

 
At 7:01 AM, Blogger DivaJood said...

Oh, little pink condom Dicks. Cheney, I mean.

Several years ago, an artist whose name I've forgotten "painted" a billboard in Chicago by dipping condoms into housepaint and flinging them onto a billboard - this colorful, beautiful "painting" and performance piece was a strong statement about HIV/AIDS and the need for protection. And here we are again, with condom clothing. Same statement, same elegance, and an almost desperate plea for people to really pay attention!

Good one, Glenda. I am linking.

 
At 12:37 PM, Blogger Kvatch said...

Outstanding! But I have a question...wouldn't clothes made from pre-lubricated condoms have a sort of...nasty...feel to them? ;-)

 
At 1:12 PM, Blogger azgoddess said...

great idea!!! DeRose should win the nobel peace prize...

 
At 3:40 PM, Blogger WeezieLou said...

i remember in the mid-80's working at a womens/addictions non-prof social service agency.......staff would pool personal $, buy condems and put in a small basket in the women's rest room. it wqas always emptied by the end of each day. it's a little disheartening to read, 20 years later, that such discreteness is still required - but thank god this kind of creativity still exists!

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger Rory Shock said...

awesome ... by the way, the pope has donned condom fashion ... as reported by rory ... you've gotta scroll down in the post to see him in his condom ...
roryshock: Christian Clowns Receive Whitehouse and Vatican Recognition Despite a Propensity to Make Really Frickin' Scary "Balloon Animals"

if the link even works at all ...

 
At 7:40 PM, Blogger Yoga Korunta said...

Too cool, Glenda! But that first picture, who wear those?

 
At 8:09 AM, Blogger JBlue said...

I love the idea, but those condoms are just not aesthetically pleasing to me. I guess after you've seen one lying on the parking lot by the park, and you've screamed, "DON'T TOUCH IT!" loud enough to traumatize your toddler.... Something is forever lost there.

 
At 12:34 PM, Blogger thepoetryman said...

jublue,
Ha! That is sadly funny... (Don't touch it!)

The only downside to the "condom" dress is that if you are at a large and wild party and there are many "ready, willing and able" couplings ensuing, the one wearing the condom dress may well find themselves naked by the end of the night with not a condom for their own coupling. :>)

 
At 6:55 PM, Blogger enigma4ever said...

interesting post..and yeah Condoms.....should be as common as lunch bags...not a big deal- should be easy access and everywhere-not like some taboo thing....beautiful fashions above...wow...I have always said if we had HOT steamy Condom ads that would help the situation....( geez we have enough Viagra ads - only seems fair)

 
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