Another day, another FEMEN protest involving a couple of women shouting with their shirts off (not that I am opposed to that kind of thing, but still — it’s not all that shocking, typically). This article also could’ve started with the words, “Another day, another fashion show that was practically the same as all the rest because a young, conventionally attractive woman’s breasts were shown.” Except these were non-paid breasts! Breasts from ladies who weren’t invited to be onstage, like uncomfortably drunk karaoke crashers at an already awkward party. And that party was Nina Ricci‘s Spring 2014 runway show for Paris Fashion Week.
Two members of the Ukranian feminist group somehow managed to get onstage at Ricci’s show in Paris’s Tuileries gardens. Both were topless and wearing body paint, with one’s torso saying, “MODEL DON’T GO TO BROTHELS” and “FASHION DICTATERROR” on the other’s:
According to Fashionista, FEMEN isn’t new to the fashion show crashing game:
FEMEN has protested fashion week before–last year they demonstrated outside of Versace‘s show in February holding up signs that said “fascism = fashion,” “model do not go to brothel” and “anorexia” emblazoned under a modified Versace logo. This is the first time, though, they’ve actually managed to get past security and on to the runway. The two activists used their naked torsos as billboards; one had “model don’t go to brothels” scrawled across her stomach and breasts; the other, “fashion dictaterror.”
I see where they’re going with that last one, but something about puns and calling people dictators for being fashion designers feels a little odd to me. Regardless, the women were escorted (i.e. carried) out of the show, though not before model Hollie-May Saker reportedly punched one in the face.
Obviously (well, obvious to me, at least), topless protests should be allowed, but I am admittedly unsure of FEMEN’s motives here. Are they protesting the low pay of models? The body image issues that model casting feeds into? The lack of protection for underage models? The absence of livable wages for factory workers doing overseas production for these designers? Fur? Voting? Shrimp? What are they protesting?
I know that FEMEN believes “fashion=facism,” but still, I would love to know more specific aspects of what they are arguing. Of course, perhaps a runway isn’t the best place to argue anything topless; after all, you’ll likely not be the only topless person, and your pants will be less cool.