Students dressed in cultural wear walked into the Student Center Ballroom for Panthers Allure’s first event of the semester: the Unity Ball. Speakers boomed with the sounds of bass, and models’ head shots flipped on a big screen. Micah Roseboro, founder of Panthers Allure, knotted a Jamaican flag over his shoulders and stepped away from the excitement that he created.
Roseboro, a senior sociology major, founded Panthers Allure two years ago after launching his modeling career. He said that people were constantly asking him how they could get into modeling, so Roseboro began to think about the possibilities of starting a student organization.
Rather than start an organization exclusively for models on campus, Roseboro wanted to find a way to merge his passions of modeling, creativity and community service and create a place for like-minded students. He was prompted by friends and classmates he met on campus.
“I’m always walking around Georgia State’s campus and I’m always meeting all these beautiful people, all these talented people,” Roseboro said.
In order to produce their own events and portfolios, Panthers Allure has three teams: models, creative professionals and a marketing team. With these teams, Panthers Allure serves as a modeling platform, community service organization and outlet for creative and marketing interests.
“I know that Georgia State isn’t exactly a creative arts school like SCAD is, but that doesn’t mean we can’t filter into seeing what other opportunities are there for us,” Roseboro said. “I decided that I was going to create an organization that catered to those needs for students that could pursue other aspirations outside their major.”
Brittany Weeks, a sophomore interested in both sociology and marketing, is one of those students. Weeks joined Panthers Allure because she felt like she could gain marketing experience. Since then, she has witnessed all that Panthers Allure has to offer, including the fashion styling of photo shoots.
“I just really like the aspect of the photo shoots which everyone puts all together, and feeling like I’m a part of the world that I’ve never considered,” Weeks said. “It’s really cool to watch it all happen.”
Students from all different areas including models, photographers, stylists and others collaborate on Panthers Allure photo shoots. There is diversity present in both the work students do and each of their individual backgrounds.
Roseboro said that it is important to incorporate an element of student diversity into Panthers Allure.
“We must have diversity when it comes to our models, and even our creative artists,” he said.
The purpose of Panthers Allure’s first event–the Unity Ball–was to unite students of diverse backgrounds.
Students like Anna Le, a business administration junior, wore traditional cultural wear to the festivities. Her red dress was a Vietnamese ao dai, worn for the Vietnamese new year. She said that there should be more events like the Unity Ball.
“You know Georgia State is so diverse, and sometimes I feel like they don’t really have events where it’s culturally involved,” Le said.
Le is a member of the Georgia State Vietnamese Student Association and a Panthers Allure volunteer. She said that diversity is important because it gives us all more to talk about.
Samaria Muhammad is a sophomore international studies major at Georgia State. To represent her culture, she wore a traditional Muslim dress from Pakistan.
Muhammad said she has a passion for international identities, and believes that it is extremely important to be aware and excepting of other people’s diversity.
“We’re somewhere in the top 10 for most diverse campuses in the nation,” Muhammad said. “So even going here, you’re exposed to all these different cultures that you may not have seen where you grew up.”
Muhammad said that being aware of other cultures and being more excepting and knowledgeable is an obligation.
Aside from diversity, Panthers Allure aims to give back to the community. Former community service projects include reading to children at Children’s Hospital of Atlanta, picking up trash on Auburn and Edgewood and giving coats and blankets to the homeless during winter.
“Everybody sees the pretty pictures, but everyone more or less knows what we do in the community,” Roseboro said. “Just looking pretty or being attractive doesn’t hold enough weight, not to me at least.”
Roseboro incorporated community service to be Panthers Allure’s primary goal, and is mandatory for all members. Weeks, who is considering changing her major to sociology, explained how her time with Panthers Allure has aided in her decision.
“Being a part of Panthers Allure has helped me because we do community service events,” Weeks said. In the future, Weeks hopes to do clothing drives, and raise money for the Red Cross with the organization.
Although Panthers Allure can help prospective models launch their careers, it stays true to its form by offering opportunities for students with many interests, including giving back to their community.
“There is a bigger picture outside of just looking pretty or making something pretty,” Roseboro said. “If you can do it with a purpose, it means that much more.”