Article by Tilly Graovac /
February 08, 2017 /
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A fashion designer has used a Lady Gaga-inspired headpiece made from raw meat to send a powerful message – women are more than pieces of flesh.
Online fashion retailer MOGA sells silk shawls and headscarves that are worn and styled in many different ways to suit its diverse customer base.
But after seeing his models criticised for their appearance online, creative director Azahn Munas decided to try a less-predictable material to send a message about the objectification of women and girls and encourage equality and acceptance.
The campaign involves a model clad in a turban made entirely from raw meat – a striking yet unsettling visual.
“It was after reading some of the comments made about the women in our images that I knew I wanted to address the shame-based culture, where if people didn’t agree with what they saw, they’d immediately put others down,” Mr Munas, 23, told 9news.com.au.
“Most people are positive, but a lot of the negative comments I saw had nothing to do with our actual product. Instead, they focused on the girls themselves – their ethnicities, body type, facial features, skin color. People would say things like, ‘the girls shouldn’t be wearing red lipstick or make-up as it will attract the attention of men’.”
Mr Munas said one person wrote they wanted to “tap the dark meat” in reference to a Somalian-born model.
Out of a negative situation, Mr Munas was inspired to encourage change.
“If we can push the boundaries and get people thinking about these topics, then we are succeeding as a brand,” Mr Munas said.
Dr Lauren Rosewarne, senior lecturer at Melbourne University’s School of Social and Political Sciences, said it is a step in the right direction.
“Diversity it something severely lacking in modern advertising. This campaign plays a part in overcoming it,” she said.
Earlier this year, MOGA took the opportunity to send One Nation leader Pauline Hanson two of its trademark silk headscarves “as a show of multicultural solidarity” following Ms Hanson’s endorsement of US President Donald Trump’s victory.
An open letter was also sent to Ms Hanson urging her to consider her language to limit division in the community.
“Using your political platform to publicly call for a ban on Muslim immigration to Australia sends a powerful message of inferiority to the women of this faith,” the letter read.
“It can’t be denied this language is not just divisive, but incredibly demeaning.”
Mr Munas said Senator Hanson’s office promptly returned the scarves, a decision he found “disappointing”.
“I am glad we got to speak openly about an issue that is important to us,” Mr Munas said.
“At the end of the day, we want to remind people that the loudest voices aren’t always the most correct.”