New York, May 27, 2005 -- A year after Challenge
Club member Ella Gunderson of Redmond, Wash., became the surprising
center of media attention over her protest of immodest fashions
at a national department store chain, the widespread interest in
the modesty movement remains.
This time last year, Ella and her
mom, Pam Gunderson, were being interviewed on NBC´s Today Show
by Katie Couric and also on CNN, because of a
letter to she wrote to executive of the Nordstrom department
store chain. The media interest started when Ella´s story appeared
in the Seattle Times just days before Ella and her
fellow Challenge Club members hosted their annual Pure Fashion Show.
several more successful Pure Fashion Shows across the country
in 2005, including an event in Atlanta that attracted some
2,000 attendees, major media are again taking note. The following
appeared in the May 25, 2005, edition of the Christian
Sparking conversation about modesty is one goal of the
Pure Fashion show, put on in early May in nearby
Bellevue, Wash., by an affiliate of a national Catholic girls´
Challenge girls clubs around the country have been hosting
the shows for a handful of years, but this was
only the second time the Seattle-area teens had sashayed down
the runway in clothes they found at stores like The
Gap, Limited Too, and Macy´s.
Their crowd grew to 350
this year from 250 last year - growth the organizers
find particularly significant, considering that last year they had national
media coverage of a member who had written a letter
to Nordstrom asking for a wider variety of clothing for
"It has struck such a chord for people," says
Pam Gunderson, the adult head of the Greater Seattle Challenge
Club, and mother of Ella, the letter-writer. "It´s just a
natural inclination to want to be sufficiently covered up. It
doesn´t take faith to realize that, but sometimes I think
it takes faith to move people to action."
The girls she works with - ages 10 and up
- are not looking for dowdy styles, but want to
be stylish and feminine. Sometimes they alter the clothes they
find - adding waistbands or layering shirts.
Still, some teens
find that it´s difficult to be fashionably modest with what´s
on the racks.
"Clothes today are too tight, too sheer,
and too revealing," says Sarah Kator, a Meridian, Idaho, teen,
in an e-mail. "I always have to buy shirts a
size or two larger than they are designed to be
worn, and I´m not a very large girl."
out more about Challenge Girls Club visit: www.challengeclubs.org
see also a video interview from Ella Gounderson. Just follow the