PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A group of young girls turned and twirled as they practiced for their moment on the catwalk for a fashion show recently.
The models have scoliosis which is a condition that results in the abnormal curving or twisting of the spine. Three million new cases of scoliosis are diagnosed in the United States each year.
The condition is most commonly diagnosed in girls just before puberty. About 30 percent of patients have to wear body braces which can make them feel self-conscious.
Now an organization called Curvy Girls is changing that with a weekend fashion show. The group of beautiful young ladies will be modeling in theÂ Curvy Girls Fashion show at the King of Prussia Mall.
“I do like how it looks,” said 14-year-old Haley Faris about the form-fitting dress she would model. “It’s quite amazing.”
Haley and the other young models aren’t accustomed to wearing fashionable clothes.Â They all have scoliosis and because of the curvature of their spine they all wear braces under their clothes.
Fifteen-year-old Bridget Llull was diagnosed when she was 8 and had to wear a brace for 20 hours a day.
“I was very self-conscious about it obviously and wearing that made me feel a lot different than my friends,” says Llull.
The brace which is supposed to keep the scoliosis from progressing didn’t work for Bridget and she had to have surgery last year. Metal rods now hold her spine in place.
Llull is organizing the fashion show which is just one of many activities put together by the The Curvy Girls support group which helps patients understand and embrace their condition.
“You just don’t feel alone anymore and that’s just such a great feeling,” says Haley.
For the girls the event is about embracing the curve and their modeling will be an example of how girls with scoliosis can always look great.Â Haley, who wears a brace, is delighted to ditch her usual baggie outfits for a pretty dress.
“It’s definitely been a very hard journey,” said Haley.Â “I wanted to wear what my friends are wearing but I couldn’t because I had this big brace on me,” she said.
But now it’s all about knowing curves are beautiful.
“So the fashion show I think is a way for all the girls, all their ages to go out and strut their stuff and show the world they can still look great and feel great wearing that brace every day,” said Haley’s mother, Jen Faris.
The Curvy Girls Fashion Show is Saturday April 1 at 2 p.m. at the Lord & Taylor court.