Working Girls Work The Runway

When hookers in Brazil want to protest discrimination, they take to the seams. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, prostitutes in Rio de Janeiro walked the runway as models for Gabriela Leite’s Daspu label (“daspu” comes from the slang term “das putas” or “the whores”). The former prostitute started the label four years ago “as a way for prostitutes to gain regular income while also fighting preconceptions of people affected with AIDS.”

“Daspu gets rid of prejudice,” says Leite. “It opens paths for the citizen whore.” The new collection was created in collaboration with other designers and is called “Farofa caviar!” Farofa is a dish favored by the poorer communities in Brazil, while caviar, obviously, is representative of the rich, suggesting that prostitutes exist in both worlds. The colorful dresses and shirts the women wore said things like “Daspu a la carte” and “Whore serving.” Profits go towards programs that combat sexually transmitted diseases.

“When my hooker girlfriends parade pretty and proud,” says Leite, who favors regulating prostitution, rather than criminalizing it, “they are speaking about themselves and become revolutionaries.”

I think this is such a positive and effective form of activism — in addition to raising funds for an important cause (fighting the spread of STDs), it also helps to change the negative and incorrect stereotypes associated with sex workers. Where can I buy a T-shirt? [Sydney Morning Herald]