Any blushing bride wearing this memorable gown would certainly leave a lasting impression on her wedding day.
The dress, made entirely of condoms and with a fitted bodice and flowing train, has caused quite a stir in the Shoalhaven.
Shoalhaven City Council is hosting the dress, dubbed ‘‘Connie’’, in a bid to raise awareness of condom usage following a spike in chlamydia rates.
In the past six months, the region has recorded a 75per cent increase in females and 61per cent in males diagnosed with the sexually transmitted infection.
However, Councillor Andrew Guile wants the council to remove the dress, describing the decision to exhibit the garment at the council’s Entertainment Centre as ‘‘an appalling lack of judgment’’.
‘‘Despite the mayor’s encouragement, I certainly won’t be bringing my six-year-old daughter into the box office to get Wiggles tickets for the upcoming concert and I would issue the same warning to other families,’’ he said.
The council had worked hard to bolster the Shoalhaven’s image and encourage families to holiday and relocate to the region, Cr Guile said.
‘‘We have our share of health and social challenges but this publicity just brings shame and embarrassment,’’ he said.
Responding to the criticism, Mayor Joanna Gash said ‘‘Connie’’ was drawing attention to an issue that had huge impacts across society.
“While sections of the community may be offended by these issues, council is not prepared to stick its head in the sand and pretend sexually transmitted infections (STIs) do not exist,’’ she said.
“Council is trying to address a real problem and look after the health of the local community by drawing further attention to the issue of STI and promoting the importance of safe-sex practices.”
Untreated, chlamydia can lead to ectopic pregnancies and infertility.
Mrs Gash said she hoped the extra publicity generated by ‘‘Connie’’ would promote safer sex practices and a more proactive attitude towards sexual health within the community.
The dress was co-ordinated by the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Area Health Service HIV and Related Programs Unit.
It will be on display until Monday.
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