Where are our moralists?
THE SILENCE OF the church and other moral thinkers in our society has been deafening in relation to the fad of body painting that is fast becoming a hallmark of our Crop Over festival.
It boggles the mind that moralists would decry the style of most revellers’ style of dance – specifically, wuk-up – the lyrics of songs, and even a physical attack on a reveller which should be properly dealt with by the police.
Some moralists also see the need for the presence of a Walk Holy band to lead the Grand Kadooment revelry. Yet, up to this point, they remain silent about the parade of half-naked young women who are literally baring their breasts in the annual masquerade.
It therefore stands to reason thatif this phenomenon, started years agowith the painting of men’s and women’s faces, stomachs and limbs, could reach the present point where women’s uncovered breasts are painted in eye-catching patterns and shaken rhythmically along the streets for all and sundry to see, then the entire naked body will soon be covered only by paint and paraded on the Kadooment route as well.
Reports are that this has already been happening on a small scale, and if so, it should be nipped in the bud either by warnings from the festival’s producer, the National Cultural Foundation, or indeed, the law enforcement segment of the society.
Credit must, however, go to the ability of the artists and perpetrators alike to hide such stark nakedness in plain sight from Warrens to the National Stadium and along the route to Spring Garden.
Bodypainting is a rampant and accepted practice in Brazil and other Latin American countries where beautiful women, clad in nothing but colourful paint, dance in the streets of Rio in what is indeed one of the world’s grandest carnivals. The fad has also caught on some whatin Trinidad and Tobago where,amid a creative flood of costumes,a few brave souls barely cover the genitalia in the twin-island’s massive pre-Lenten carnival.
Barbados’ Crop Over is supposed to be more than a carnival and therefore is showing that it too, can boast of its share of homegrown, talented artists who annually add beauty by deftly combining paint and brush on to the ready canvas of nubile young and not-so-young Barbadian women.
But even though Grand Kadooment is just a day, is this the society we wish to nurture,where the climax of a national festival moves from being a largely wholesome release of energy to a parade of naked bodies that caneasily be propelled – under theinfluence of alcohol, drugs, music and the awesome beauty of the female body – into a state of raw sexual activity on the streets?
The church, representing the dominant Christian religion here, has to realize that while it how ls in protest and strains at a biblical gnatin the form of non-existent legislationon same-sex marriage and other intangible “sins”, it is swallowing a camel by compromising on naked exposure and sexual abandon.