Oh no, this is too much skin showing now!
This is the sentiment of some bandleaders who are calling on the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) to consider putting a halt to the rising number of skimpy costumes allowed in bands on Kadooment Day.
Award-winning designer Betty West said as she paraded on Monday she was shocked at the number of semi-nude women on the road.
“You could be sexy but covered. I saw big women with cellulites on the road. The string was so far up you couldn’t see nothing. For me that is a no no,” a disgusted West said during an interview with Barbados TODAY.
“Yes, you have slender girls with these things [on]. But when you see a full figured woman in this, for me it is disgusting,” added West, who said she expected criticism for speaking out about the issue.
“We don’t want this kind of thing in Barbados,” an adamant West stressed.
The bandleader insisted the authorities must not allow trends from Brazil’s carnival, which has found its way into Trinidad, to take hold here.
Respected bandleader Gwyneth Squires shared similar outrage, telling Barbados TODAY some of the costumes she saw on the road ought to have landed the revellers behind bars.
“It has to stop. I saw some people yesterday in revealing costumes. To be honest, I sorry the police didn’t lock them up,” Squires declared.
Squires, who won the Most Colourful Large Band, BMA Brands of Barbados, Best Festival Designer, Large Band of the Year and the 50th Anniversary of Independence awards for her participation in the parade this year, pointed out that the revealing costumes which are becoming more evident on the road, were not being manufactured locally.
The successful bandleader called on the judges to condemn the skimpy clothing, and made a special appeal to Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley to ban indecent costumes from the Crop Over festival.
“He [Lashley] should be the one to tell the bandleaders what they should wear because here is not Brazil, here is Barbados. I am not agreeing with what other bandleaders’ revellers wearing because it is ridiculous,” Squires said.
“Some bandleaders say the people want those things. They are tolerating those people because they want the money. Some of those bandleaders don’t study what you wearing, you know.
“They studying the money to put in their pockets. I don’t study putting money in my pocket, I study when I am on the road I must look decent,” she added.
Barbados TODAY understands that on Monday one bandleader received the shock of his life when he discovered that a male reveller in his band was wearing a thong instead of the shorts with which he was issued.
Meanwhile, President of the Barbados Association of Masqueraders (BAM) Chetwyn Stewart admitted that some costumes were too revealing, but he said it was what revellers wanted.
Stewart also pointed out that as new bands and designers were attracted to Kadooment, they would bring the trends and fashions from carnivals across the world with them.
“I am not saying that it is right, but in a lot of cases it is what some people are asking for,” Stewart said.
In fact, the bandleader of the Power X Four band noted that some revellers, mainly those coming in from overseas, adjusted their attire to suit their likes. He said there were some female revellers who swaped the top of their costume for painted breasts.
“A lot of times I sell them a whole bottom and they bring in a T-back with diamantes. It is not always the bandleaders. It is not always what you sell.
“You can’t always blame the bandleaders because a lot of the times it is not the bandleaders. It is the reveller who decide, ‘well look, I want the skimpier thing,’” Stewart said.
The BAM head also said that every year, bandleaders are required to submit pictures of their costume designs to the NCF.