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“Tοpless” is the New Protest in Brazil

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afro-brazilian model protest

In excess of 40 black models took to the runway in protest in Rio de Janeiro but they weren’t holding picket signs. Oh no, these bold activists decided to stroll on stage tοpless to protest the lack of modeling jobs being offered to Afro-Brazilian models. I bet you’re wondering if they were male or female models? Well, they were mostly female models. So you can imagine the shock and impact this must have had. Or did it?

The protest was sparked by an agreement reached between the Rio Ombudsman’s Office and Fashion Week organizers setting a 10% quota of hiring black models to walk the catwalks.

Brazil has one the largest black populations in the world, second only to Nigeria with more than half of its 200 million residents being of African descent. In spite of these numbers, Afro-Brazilians report great racial inequality.

Prior to signing the hiring quota agreement, Afro-Brazilian models represented less than 3% of 350 models that graced the fashion runway. This leaves the native Afro-Brazilians feeling that they’re good enough to spend their money on Brazilian designer clothes but not good enough to sell the clothes by wearing them at fashion shows. Bringing in white models is the ultimate slap in the face to what represents the majority of the population.

It never ceases to amaze me how a country can depend on people of color to build and sustain their economies but not provide them with equal treatment. Brazil was the last country in the western world to abolish slavery. Known for its widespread use of slavery, Brazil imported more than 4 million slaves from Africa representing more than 40% of the total population of slaves shipped to the Americas. And its black residents still suffer racial inequality some 200 years after the abolition of slavery.

I’m a bit troubled by this type of tοpless protest. I fail to see how the boldness of going tοpless on a runway helps the cause. Seems to me that it would cause a setback. I envision those in authority using the raucous display to show reason not to include Afro-Brazilian models. I know Brazil is widely identified as a country known as a sεxually free society. So perhaps that’s why they would use bαre chests to display their messages of protest. One female model took to the stage with this message written on her bαre chest, “What strikes you, your racism or me?”

27 Comment

  1. Nice!!! The struggle goes on…Afrikans Unite!

  2. there's not very much difference in the US

  3. Caucasian looking Brasilians are more racists than they want the world to believe. Some of the worse ones are those with African ancestry. They want to be identified with only the Caucasian side of their heritage.

  4. With 100 million strong, they should create their own cat walk shows, magazine, clothes line, shoes EVERYTHING for SELF. Stop begging for crumbs when they do not have to They sound like us!

    • Thank you Frances. Get your own. Stop asking the to accept you.

  5. With 100 million strong, they should create their own cat walk shows, magazine, clothes line, shoes EVERYTHING for SELF. Stop begging for crumbs when they do not have to They sound like us!

  6. don't visit brazll if yor are dark black!!!!

  7. It seems this (non) issue is worldly…
    This light skin over dark skin debate amongst ourselves has always been pathetic!
    Why would you measured yourself by European standards if your NOT European…Think!
    You can not tell me if I looked all Africa for beautiful people, I would find all types of beauty to fit all taste!
    It's where your belief starts your efforts, goals and money will follow. Our fed images are profit driven ONLY!
    Remember, what we buy, is where all corporations will go.

  8. If we want the world to respect us(Africans) we first have to stop looking for acceptance from those who hate us and start putting stock in our own communities! Invested in our business and our people. We will never have bond with the white race

  9. Good one

  10. I think that it is outrageous that they have to set a quota of a mere 10% for black people, when over half of the population is black! All you have to do is wear a few clothes; why does that require a quota?! Racism in fashion is nothing new. I see why the models are protesting, but let us be honest: modelling is not a safe and secure job. As a feminist, I also have a particular aversion to modelling as it objectifies women. These women would be much better off protesting racial inequality in areas that matter more such as longer term employment; medicine, law, teaching etc. Many of the white models they bring in are only there for as long as the season lasts, but they would be more likely to get a job in the real world, unlike these black women. That is not to diminish the importance of their protest- that quota rule is scandalous, but modelling is not life.

  11. I agree 100% with you on that

  12. I think your ignorance has you mistaking Hispanic/Latin ethnicities with caucasians

  13. Brazilians are not white

  14. Brassknuckles N Tattoos', I believe you need to do research before you make your statements and I was speaking in a general aspect as well

  15. Brassknuckles N'Tattoos actually your comments are quite ignorant on race. Hispanic/Latino is not a race, but a colonized ethnicity. Many Mexicans will identify with Hispanic, but in reality they Are Native Americans native to the central america.. Brazilians are melting pot of Portuguese/African/ & native american blood. Majority of the Lighter skin/White Brazilians are Portuguese. Portuguese & Spaniards are Europeans, which makes them White..

  16. I thibk he means caucasians that have a hispanic culture. Seeing as he was talking about phenotyps or races, since we all know being hispanic is not a race. Ure either black asan or caucasian originally. There is speculation about native american phenotypes and that specificappearance but he was right about hispanic caucasians. They run the dcountry

  17. When you fill out legal documents, what are your options? African American, Caucasian, Native American/ Eskimo/Haiwian, Asian , or Latino. If you call a Brazilians person white, I guarantee there well be a problem. Same as if you call a Dominican black, those are fighting words.

  18. Exactly, 100+ million people so disorganized, that they can only organize
    to protest for someone to give them something. Learned helplessness.

  19. Brassknuckles N'Tattoos No he is telling the truth. You are misconstrued.

  20. Brassknuckles N'Tattoos Same if you call a white Brazilian black problem again.

  21. its derived from the racist propaganda that started many years ago with
    Europeans conquering and invading these indigenous countries. Yet
    they want to pretend like it just started yesterday.

  22. That's a trait that has virtually been stripped from the people through
    slavery oppression and poverty.

  23. Rachel Rae, you are mistaken when you say: "we all know that being Hispanic is not a race." Most people I know (especially Black people) think that Hispanic is a race. It is common to hear a Black person say: "he/she is not Black – he/she is Hispanic. You are in the informed minority on this and most people do not understand the disingenuous intent of those who attempt to confuse Black people into including a broad band of people as minorities other than Blacks. This is an attempt to dilute the impact of slavery on Black Americans. Hispanics refers only to (1) language; (2) culture; and, (3) heritage. It has absolutely nothing to do with race. Cuban people are a great example of this.

  24. Go Koolade91 – you got it right.

  25. You are so correct. Why are they scrapping for crumbs. Also, someone should speak to the American immigrants from Brazil. When they come to America most want nothing to do with African-Americans and embrace either Hispanics are caucasians. They shun African-American, I know first hand, had a couple for neighbors…they only embrace caucasians (at least the ones I know).

  26. hmmmmm ideas ideas take a trip, My Good friend who is White from America visits Brazil just to date the Afro-Centric Woman.

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