Ciara turns trauma into triumph as ‘Pinkie’ platform wins top award

UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 07 JUNE

A Birmingham City University student has turned personal trauma into triumph, after scooping a Graduate Fashion Week award for her sex education app.

Ciara Neale’s online ‘Pinkie’ platform provides 16-24 year-olds with access to chat forums and educational information on topics including contraception, sexual consent, masturbation and menstruation.

Inspiration for Ciara’s project came about from her own personal trauma.

School of Fashion and Textiles

Birmingham City University

“’’Pinkie’ is an educative and influential platform for young women to learn about their body, health and sex”, explained the 21 year-old, who studies Fashion Business and Promotion at Birmingham City University.

“The idea behind the project is inspired by the gap in educational support towards sex, heightened by outdated curriculums and the taboo subject surrounding women’s bodies and sexual pleasure.

“The concept surrounding the project came from my own personal trauma of a sexual assault and as a young woman dealing with the assault, I searched for coping mechanisms to help manage the effect it had on all aspects of my life.

The online platform also includes contact information for users’ nearest sexual health clinic and features an online magazine with stories from sex educators and online influencers sharing their experiences on topics such as contraceptive pills, sexual assault and body image issues.

“I want readers to feel a sense of comfort knowing they’re not alone in such situations and can begin to learn how to cope with these experiences”, said Ciara, who hails from Lisburn in Northern Ireland.

“Online and social media platforms can create comprehensive sex education for the new generation as they turn to emerging influencers for inspiration and advice.”

Ciara’s ‘Pinkie’ platform was recognised with the New Media award at Graduate Fashion Week, an annual event celebrating creativity and showcasing the talent of tomorrow.

Fellow student Greg Brears, who studies Fashion Design at Birmingham City University, also picked up a Graduate Fashion Week award for his menswear collection inspired by engineer overalls.

Find out more about fashion courses at Birmingham City University’s Open Day on Saturday 29 June.

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