The anticipation is building up, weeks of blood sweat and tears are leading up to the greatest show on earth – Carnival. The streets come alive with the sweet sounds of soca, colours, feathers and bling. People of all shapes, sizes and figures come together as one to celebrate their culture…right??
It would appear that only certain body shapes and skin tones are emphasised when it comes to carnival, while hundreds of women go under the radar. The larger than life characters, the “thickums” and darker toned beauties seem to fall short when it comes to getting as much media attention.
All around we see repeated images of the surgically enhanced, lighter toned and slimmer women of carnival. Very shortly the women who spend every opportunity in the gym/dieting to achieve that perfect “carnival body” will be a thing of the past…why? Well the latest international craze for photographers is to feature the women who “go under the knife” but what about the women who are comfortable in their own skin and love to play mas in their customised costume? Ok, yes they have a few more pounds on show than the average masquerader but they STILL slay just as well.
So let's focus on the fact that the majority of media coverage is aimed at the male audience. What about women who want to see a buff man showing all his splendour in a colourful costume and wukking up to sweet soca? Male masqueraders are on the rise internationally and not just in numbers. They too should be celebrated no matter their sexuality, size, shape or form.
Carnival is becoming less about the costumes that so many designers work so hard to perfect and more about who who is wearing them. So here’s to more media coverage representing as many mas bands as possible that worked so hard, eye candy male masquaraders, the carnival beauties that go under the radar, women of a variety of shapes, sizes and skin tones.
Let's take it back to carnival being about creativity, freedom and unity!