Bare-breasted black models protest to publicize the lack of black models in Fashion Rio event

black models
Protesters march at Fashion Rio event
 

In a gesture that is becoming as regular as the main event itself, black models organized a protest against under-representation at Fashion Rio’s Winter edition. As with similar protests staged in BrasíliaSão Paulo and previous fashion shows in Rio, the objective is to raise public awareness of the fact that non-whites make up 51% of Brazil’s population although one would never know this judging from the whiteness of models on runways. A report four years ago showed that São Paulo Fashion Week in January of 2008 featured 344 models with only 8, or 2.3% being black

Arm in arm and bare-chested, a group of protesters from the NGO Educafro movement walked the aisles of the 22nd edition of Fashion Rio on Wednesday (7) to protest the lack of blacks on Brazilian catwalks.

42-year old lawyer Creuzimar Gomes, a member of Educafro, came to the protest with her breasts exposed and said that this is the seventh time that the NGO has appeared at the event. See video of her comments below and in the video:

“This event never has black participants. Women, men. Blacks don’t parade, blacks don’t participate, blacks are not invited. We are here, a large part of the Brazilian population is black. Brazil is a mixed country, mainly black, we are part of this country and we have rights here.”

Speaking on her exposed breasts, she continued:

“We came here like this, we are like this. Africa is nude. We come into the world like this. We are free.We have to call attention to the lack of representation of blacks. Unfortunately we had to strip naked. I’m a 42-year old black woman with 3 degrees and I am here. Prejudice is huge, prejudice affects us. We are fighting, we are battling. We have to protest. There are black women that are pretty, beautiful…Are we parading, our profile is not European. There should be a runway that is at least mixed. Where is it?”

According Moisés Alcunã, one of the coordinators of Educafro, the idea is to cover the minimum 10% representation of black models in each modeling parade. “We already have an agreement of this representation with the public ministry. Brazil is as rich and miscegenated as  it is misrepresented.”

 

“It seems that we are a Nordic country!,” complained actor Marco Rocha, who walked beside Alcunã. “If we have attention out here, why not there inside?”, he asked. Along with the parade, the models, with their faces and bodies painted, did performances, calling attention of the public. “Art is the best way to protest, it creates reflection, makes people rethink their place,” said Alcunã.

 
 

Educafro is a national organization that promotes the inclusion of black people in public and private universities, in addition to fighting for the state to fulfill its obligations to the black population for the end of ethnic discrimination.

The curious thing about Creuzimar’s participation is that yesterday, having seen a few black models parade the runways with their breasts exposed while seeing no white models doing the same, Carlos Roberto Silva asked if the event’s organizers thought of black women as “natives” or only sex objects, revisiting a question we posed only a few weeks ago. Concluding, he lamented what he saw because “the black woman doesn’t deserve this.”

 
Models at Fashion Rio Winter edition
 

What do you think? Is the exposure of breasts a connection to sexual objectification? Is it a form of women’s liberation? Is it a way of normalizing the human body? Are exposed breasts viewed differently if the woman is black or white? Should this even be an issue? 

Feel free to leave a comment. 

Source: TerraEgo

About Marques Travae 2897 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

22 Comments

  1. Once again, i feel like the Black community in Brazil wants the wrong thing, instead of protesting the lack of black models being used in a white brazilian owned event, focus on making your own fashion event. Black owned, black operated, and then the style in which the black model is shown can differ. Why is inclusion so important to Black people in brazil and the usa?

  2. I think you are being unfair. I didnt ask why inclusion is important at all, i asked why is inclusion so important. I realize my intent was misunderstood. I restate my question, why is inclusion more important than the communities own structure. If I take your position correctly, you are stating that it is more important for white fashion designers, in a white financed fashion week, to have black models, THAN the existence of a black financed fashion week, with black designers ustilizing Black models?if Black models want to be in magazines, then the first question to me, isnt when white owned magazines hire them, but where are the black owned magazines? If black people aren't on television, then the first question to me, isnt when white owned television stations make black shows , but where are the black owned television stations?Black ownership is more vital than black labor. In the USA, we fought for black labor to be accepted everywhere but if you look at black ownership, it took a huge hit. It was a sacrifice. And, I feel like Black Brazilians should learn from that mistake. Black Statians own less now than we did 50 years ago. Black models today in the USA have more access than 50 years ago, but Black owned fashion enterprises are less than what they were 50 years ago. Own first then worry about inclusion.

  3. I think you are being unfair.I didnt ask why inclusion is important at all, i asked why is inclusion so important. I realize my intent was misunderstood. I restate my question, why is inclusion more important than the communities own structure.If I take your position correctly, you are stating that it is more important for white fashion designers, in a white financed fashion week, to have black models, THAN the existence of a black financed fashion week, with black designers ustilizing Black models?if Black models want to be in magazines, then the first question to me, isnt when white owned magazines hire them, but where are the black owned magazines?If black people aren't on television, then the first question to me, isnt when white owned television stations make black shows , but where are the black owned television stations?Black ownership is more vital than black labor. In the USA, we fought for black labor to be accepted everywhere but if you look at black ownership, it took a huge hit. It was a sacrifice. And, I feel like Black Brazilians should learn from that mistake. Black Statians own less now than we did 50 years ago. Black models today in the USA have more access than 50 years ago, but Black owned fashion enterprises are less than what they were 50 years ago. Own first then worry about inclusion.

  4. great post, thank you for the information about discrimination black brazilian women face in modeling industry. it very similar to what black american women face in the modeling industry. how can you be in a country like brazil with so many POC and have an all white fashion show that's supposed to represent the whole country??… it's ridiculous how white washed everything is. About the question of black women's breast being exposed vs. white women's breasts. Yes, I do think black women and white women's breasts are viewed differently. black women showing breast is seen as dirty, trash, over-sexed jezebel a white women can flash her breasts on camera and become a liberated, sex goddess.black women have always either been portrayed as the mammy or jezebel, there is no in between…so a beautiful black women showing her breasts in a non-degrading way is a NO NO to a lot of people…but put a bw in a nasty, racist porn film where a guy is doing all this ish to her breasts and it's okay…it makes me sick the beauty standard and how backward they are, let me tell you, girl people are intimated of us..that's what it's all about. I know that now, it's all about insecurity because I've experienced it personally and I did a post about it: http://blacknotwhitedippedinchocolate.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/do-over-my-experience-with-passive-aggressive-racism-in-brazil/#comment-1737

  5. you are right that Black women's breast are lusted after by the same people who also call them the worst names. But, like many perceptions by Whites towards Blacks anywhere in the American continent, they were groomed through Black enslavement too whites. Where we were called all sorts of negative names but also did everything from housework, raising other peoples kids, building roads, being jockeys. We did more work than any other people totally enslaved and were called the worst names. Women today pay women to breast feed their children, if their milk isnt good enough. Is it really a leap to see how black women's breast fed white and black children alike, as black women's bodies were also the best brothel. In New Orleans , a place called storyville existed. In storyville, their were many ladies of the evening, the highest paid were all white but all claimed to have black descendence of some grade because white men had mythologized the scenario of raping an enslaved black woman into an insatiable luring by a wild nymphomaniac.From that environment you get the image of the beautiful and naked black woman. BUT, my issue is, what to do about this? Is trying to change whites the answer? No, the answer is having a black fashion fair and doing it to uphold how we wish to see oursleves.

  6. Must agree with Centralharlemite regarding Black ownership more valuable than Black labor, however, I am sure the solution is a mixture between the two. If you have Black ownership, but the infrastructure makes you live like a second class citizen and can take what you have or the threat of it is perceived or real then what you have is similar to many countries in Africa, resources for the taking or exploiting. On the other hand if you get inclusion but have no ownership you are still in the same boat because you have not changed the mindset of people thinking that Black is bad and the Black businesses will die off because of the flock to white owned businesses.

  7. I really hope that the posters with opinions about black brasil are actually black brasilians… I'm tired of black Usian folks coming into a conversation and a context to which we don't understand with these self-righteous attitudes about what black brasilians should want. Black brasilians have been fighting oppression in brasil not black folks from the U.S… You are to lend support AND NOT SPEAK FOR/OVER BLACK BRASILIANS… Watch that attitude because it will land you on the side of the oppressor… Brasil's treatment of black people is similar but still very different from the U.S. So I just beg posters who are not Afro-Brasilian to NOT SPEAK OVER THE VOICES OF ACTUAL AFRO-BRASILIANS, you know the people whom this site if focused on..

  8. Even from the blind responses here on this page, I see how this problem is so prevalent in Brazil, U.S. and more.Even if "black" Brazilian's made up 1% of Brazil, it shouldn't make a difference.We are a human race, you can find beauty in ALL of us. It's shameful that there's so much ignorance..WAKE UP!

  9. Well I'm not a black Brazilian or a black American. I'm Black British. I don't speak for or over black Brazilians. I see black people from Africa to Brazil to to US as brothers and sisters in arms and love this site because I get to find out about a Brazil that is rarely shown in the media, so I read the brilliant articles and give my opinon of the article. It seems to me that Brazilians and Europeans like to talk about how there are so many race problems in the US and not in their countries which I know for a fact is rubbish. I've found countries that talk like this are normally the worse for racism but I am coming to Brazil for a few years next year so I will see for myself.

  10. YOU DON T NEED TO BE BLACK BRAZILIAN TO SPEAK OR BE INTERESTED BY WHAT HAPPENED THERE.IT IS FUNNY THAT "YOU ARE TIRED OF BLACK USIAN FOLKS COMING INTO THE CONVERSATION " BUT NOT REALLY TIRED BY THE AWFUL AND UNSTOPPABLE INJUSTICE AND OPPRESSION SUFFERED BY BLACK PEOPLE IN BRAZIL. YOU MUST READ THE BLOG MORE OFTEN AND READ ABOUT/LISTEN TO BLACK BRAZILIAN VOICES ESPECIALLY THE ONE WHO ARE NOT BLINDSIDED BY THIS FALSE CONCEPT OF " RACIAL DEMOCRACY". YOU MUST BE WHITE TO EVEN THINK LIKE THIS BECAUSE I DON T THINK THAT A "SERIOUS BLACK PERSON" WILL SEE THINGS THAT WAY. WHEN YOU SEE A BLACK FACE SUFFERING EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT LIVING IN THE SAME PLACE YOU FEEL CONCERNED BECAUSE IT CAN BE YOU OR YOU ARE/BEEN THROUGH THE SAME EXPERIENCE.YES BRAZIL TREATMENT IS SIMILAR TO THE USA BUT THE DIFFERENCE IS THAT BLACK AMERICAN (USA) DESPITE BEING IN THE SAME SITUATION IN THE PAST ( SLAVERY,..ETC) ARE IN DIFFERENT POSITION NOW EVEN IF IT IS NOT PERFECT BUT PEOPLE ARE STILL FIGHTING… THAT S LIFE. I THINK THAT THERE IS A HUGE FEAR (AMONG WHITE BRAZILIANS) THAT BLACK BRAZILIAN DECIDE TO BE INSPIRED BY AFRICAN AMERICAN AND MAYBE CHANGED THEIR APPROACH TO TACKLE BRAZILIAN RACISM AND INJUSTICE.AND SINCE WHEN TALKING AND DENOUNCING AN INJUSTICE ( THAT YOU KNOW TOO WELL ) "WILL LAND YOU ON THE SIDE OF THE OPPRESSOR"…? PLEASE ELABORATE?AND YOU DON T HAVE "TO BEG POSTERS WHO ARE NOT AFRO-BRAZILIAN TO NOT SPEAK …." BECAUSE THIS IS A BLOG WHERE YOU ARE FREE TO COMMENT ( I CALL IT THE MAGIC OF INTERNET.. TO GIVE A VOICE AND CONNECT PEOPLE )IF YOU ARE UNCOMFORTABLE WITH THE SUBJECT YOU CAN GO TO ANOTHER BLOG NOBODY FORCE YOU TO COME HERE.NOW FOR "YOUR HOPE THAT THE POSTERS WITH OPINIONS ABOUT BLACK BRAZIL ARE ACTUALLY BLACK BRAZILIANS"….. SORRY BABY IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. WE "BLACK PEOPLE" EVEN IF SOME DON T LIKE IT…. WE ARE CONNECT.

  11. Well actually I'm black and I'm just as upset about the treatment of black brasilians as I have visited brasil and experienced first hand how black brasilians are treated… Speaking out against injustice and the genocide of afro-brasilians is vastly different from speaking for or over them. What I was getting at in the post is that black brasilians should be in front in this conversation about THEIR CONDITION… I'M NOT SAYING DON'T SPEAK AGAINST THE THINGS THEY FACE… I just see lots of black folks from the U.S. speaking for and over them.. I've seen it in the comments section of various posts on this site.. I'm always up for dialog… but I'm not up for speaking OVER black brasilians who have been speaking for themselves for far longer… I'm here to stand with them and to mirror what THEY ARE SAYING… You mentioned connecting to the diaspora… In connecting we must remain respectful of experiences in other parts of the world that vary greatly.. I'm just very uncomfortable with people speaking for Afro-brasilians.. I would love to hear afro-brasilians speak.. The subject doesn't make me uncomfortable at all.. I talk about the current condition of our folks in the diaspora ALL THE TIME.. but I will not speak over them… Because that would be self-righteous of me and would lead to their existence/voice being erased further.. That's what I mean when I say that it will land you on the side of the oppressor… Erasure is a classic tool of white supremacy.. So we must be careful that we don't speak OVER OR FOR THEM and erase them from the conversation… We must mirror what they are saying… We must lend support… Because we ARE NOT BLACK BRASILIANS… WOuld you expect a black brasilian to speak for a black person from the U.S.? I would say no because that's not their history or their context… That's all I was saying…

  12. I understand fully what you are saying and feel it's something that white people do alot when it comes to black people, they speak for us and over us and try to act like they understand when they really don't have a clue, which is why I don't talk for or about things I don't really know instead I listen and ask questions and if I can go to the places so I can get a better understanding, but what I have found in countries of the black diaspora is how similar the experiences are. I agree with Minasek when she says about seeing black people suffering, it doesn't matter where in the world it is it hurts me, it's the same when I see a human being suffering, but I'm black so I put black people first with no apology just like white people put white people first.

  13. Thank you ANONYMOUS to take the time to elaborate your answer. Now i understand WHAT YOU WANTED TO SAY…I totally agree with you on " ERASURE IS THE CLASSIC TOOL OF WHITE SUPREMACY" SO SO TRUE….AND i understand better now when you said "So we must be careful that we don't speak OVER OR FOR THEM and erase them from the conversation…". I am AFRICAN so i know what it is to HAVE BONO or GELDORF AND COMPANY TO SPEAK FOR THE WHOLE CONTINENT IN THE MEDIA WHEN THEY ARE NOT EVEN AFRICAN.CHICO-REI EXPLAINED IT PERFECTLY.God Bless.

  14. thanks gatasnegras for this valid concern…the media in brazil is seriously responsible for much of the colorisation i agree about lets really try to find out what black brazilians have to say….there are serious differances in many aproaches compared to the usa, just for an example. black women in brazil arnt as hung up about being sensual and many people will scream that is sexual exploitation or they are being sexual objects…wrong…many black brazilian women have no hangups about going out with white men, if you try to tell them differant , you may get run out of town…many black brazilians dont want to do it the american way as to how to deal with their problems in a racist societyif people can accept that, there is lots to learn all the way around, and for sure, all attention on the racist media in brazil is welcome

  15. Did you know that white people only make up 15% of the worlds population and people of african descent in Brazil make up well over 50% of Brazil's population. So since whites are the minority in the world, many whites will always ignore and be prejudiced to black people in Brazil (and the rest of the world) because if they start celebrating blacks and uplifting them as much as they do whites…they know that the whitest people in Brazil could be made extinct and thats what Racism is…. fear the of the genetic annihilation of whites.

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