Father Clement Paul is calling on Kadooment bands to leave the nigh nakedness and erotic behaviour out of Crop Over this year.
A candid Paul, addressing recent comments by Minister of Education Ronald Jones, who urged Kadooment designers to “leave out the naked costumes”, commended the minister on his stand. But while Paul understood the issue with the nakedness, his major concern was the vulgarity associated with it.
The Roman Catholic priest marvelled at the fact that while men were “properly dressed in costumes”, women seemed to be wearing less and less clothing every year.
“Of course, I don’t have all the answers. I may have some suggestions. For example, I don’t see how creative nakedness can be.
“What I think we need is more creativity. I think that our costumes are not even costumes. There are several that get less and less, and skimpier and skimpier; and I don’t call that creativity,” said Paul.
Additionally, the priest said, while bands were being judged for their creativity and other themes, there were bandleaders out there keeping their revellers in costumes.
He lauded veteran bandleaders Betty West and Gwyneth Squires for setting high standards in good costuming.
“Last year, some of my young people in the church said to me, ‘But Father Paul, the bands that some of us young people look at and appreciate along with the judges, are not the ones with the skimpy costumes’.
“When they go across the stage, look at who gets Band Of The Year; and those are not the bands that have hardly anything on,” he said.
And while he knows he will receive lashes for it, Paul said he believed Christians’ involvement in Grand Kadooment would lift the standard of dress and eliminate the level of erotic behaviour.
He said instead of churches demanding policies to be implemented to deal with the issue, which is raised every year, they should get on the road, and not with their own bands.
“I think our members should take their Christian faith with them into these bands. And if we convince them that the human body is a temple, then they are not going to expose that temple to vulgar behaviour.
“Then people will say, ‘I am not wearing this, and I am not wearing that because it doesn’t do justice to my body. Yes, I paid my money, but I am not going to wear only a piece of string below my belly’,” Paul suggested.
Indicating he was always excited about engaging in discussions on Crop Over which he is 100 per cent behind, Paul argued the focus of the season should be on Barbados’ culture and on promoting it.
“I am not one of the people who make a lot of noise about wukking up. Revelry is revelry. What I can’t take on is the behaviour the nakedness tends to evoke –– and that is the problem.
“The nakedness and semi-nakedness tend to evoke erotic and eractic behaviour,” he said.