A need for more creativity
TWO TOPICS GUARANTEED to be discussed after the revellery each Grand Kadooment Day are the behaviour of revellers on the street and the skimpiness of the costumes worn.
This year is no different. Scores of Barbadians have taken to social media and, to a lesser extent, the call-in radio shows to voice their displeasure over these aspects of our annual national festival.
This year, the disapproval has been loudest about the voluptuous woman with a small patch covering her right nipple, while her left breast is partially exposed by the too small bra-like top. Worse, she wore a T-string which covered her pubic area but left her ample buttocks on display, while the rest of her body – both front and back – was accentuated with equally spaced beads.
This woman can be seen on social media shaking her physical assets to the music amidst cheers from other revellers.
While we recognise it is the right of each citizen to be free to express themselves how they want to as long as they do so within the law, clearly costumes like this just described are not what we would want our premiere cultural festival to become known for.
Though we recognise similar skimpy attire, or even less, is worn at carnivals across the globe, surely that does not mean we have to import such to market Crop Over.
This newspaper is of the view that like our national thrust for innovation, greater emphasis needs to be placed on creativity of our Grand Kadooment Day costumes. We feel the National Cultural Foundation should encourage this move by providing attractive prizes.
We are not saying that the predominant swimsuits with accessories craze should be abandoned. Rather, we are advocating that our designers seek to be more innovative in creating costumes around themes which would be more tasteful and far less revealing. This way Crop Over would truly stand out as more than a carnival and be the sweetest summer festival we are projecting it to be.
Of course we recognise bands, like other businesses, cater to the needs of their clientele, and many of those women who jump seemed to prefer the rhinestone-studded swimsuits accessorised with beads, feathers and other paraphernalia. But we feel there is a place for both in our festival to make Crop Over unique, and our suggestion, if acted upon, may result in some people presently turned off by the predominant skimpy costumes to come out and enjoy themselves on the road as well.
One only has to look at the presentations designers come with for Junior Kadooment to realise how possible it is to blend these two concepts. Each year in this competition, designers outfit children under 15 years old in creative, colourful costumes that portray topical themes that dazzle the judges and spectators. Surely this can be done for adults too if the right incentives are put in place.
If we all agree that Grand Kadooment affords the opportunity for Barbados to showcase our most creative talents to the world, then let us seek to do this by broadening our costume offerings.