Trans model stuns in dress made from flags of countries where being LGBTQ is illegal.

Never has discrimination looked so beautiful.

Sometimes a fashion statement says so much more than "I'm fierce."

When Dutch designers Mattijs van Bergen and Oeri van Woezik joined forces for EuroPride, they knew they wanted to contribute something that spoke volumes. As visual artists, it was important for that message to be conveyed through the power of a single image.

Or in this case, a single dress.


The Amsterdam rainbow dress. Photo by Pieter Henket, used with permission.

The "Rainbow Dress" is 52-feet long, with a skirt made up of the flags from the 72 countries around the world where homosexuality is considered a crime.

Appropriately, the "Rainbow Dress" is being modeled by world-renowned transgender model, Valentijn de Hingh.

While the skirt was constructed of flags from countries where being gay is illegal, the bodice of the dress was constructed from the three flags of the city of Amsterdam, so as to honor "the free spirit of Amsterdam and the safe shelter Amsterdam provides for lesbian and gay people all over the world," said van Woezik in an email.

After Amsterdam's annual Pride Parade, Arnout van Krimpen and Jochem Kaan of the COC Amsterdam (a Dutch organization for LGTBQ rights) reached out to them and asked if they could do something interesting with Amsterdam's flags. Bergen and Woezik had been friends for years, and they saw this as the perfect opportunity to put their creative minds together and build something truly unique.

Afgelopen week regent het vage berichten op mijn persoonlijke Facebook over een superspannende samenwerking. Ik ga er...

Posted by OERI VAN WOEZIK on Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The concept of the dress is to take the idea of freedom of expression and turn it into a mirror that shows where in the world the freedom to be LGBTQ is lacking.

"Mattijs, Arnout, Jochem and I felt the need to do something impactful in the context of our craftsmanship. We all live in Amsterdam which considers freedom of speech and expression a universal right for everyone," wrote Woezik.

Of the 72 countries represented on the skirt of the Rainbow Dress, 10 consider homosexuality an offense that can be punishable by death. In Yemen, married men can be sentenced to death by stoning for having sexual intercourse with a man. In Qatar, Muslims can be put to death for extramarital sex of any kind. According to a 2014 report, certain homosexual acts can be punishable by flogging, a fine, or prison time in Sudan.

As a port city, Amsterdam has always been a safe haven for people from all backgrounds and of all orientations. The dress is meant to be a reminder to citizens that while the country encourages freedom of self-expression, its citizens should also be proud and supportive of that message.

Such freedom should not be a privilege that only some countries' citizens get to enjoy — it should be a given. Hopefully this bold statement will get the necessary politicians to say "yes" to the dress.

Check out the video of the dress in action at a photo shoot below:

More

If you're a woman and you want to be a CEO, you should probably think about changing your name to "Jeffrey" or "Michael." Or possibly even "Michael Jeffreys" or "Jeffrey Michaels."

According to Fortune, last year, more men named Jeffrey and Michael became CEOs of America's top companies than women. A whopping total of one woman became a CEO, while two men named Jeffrey took the title, and two men named Michael moved into the C-suite as well.

The "New CEO Report" for 2018, which looks at new CEOS for the 250 largest S&P 500 companies, found that 23 people were appointed to the position of CEO. Only one of those 23 people was a woman. Michelle Gass, the new CEO of Kohl's, was the lone female on the list.

Keep Reading Show less
Business

How much of what we do is influenced by what we see on TV? When it comes to risky behavior, Netflix isn't taking any chances.

After receiving a lot of heat, the streaming platform is finally removing a controversial scenedepicting teen suicide in season one of "13 Reasons Why. The decision comes two years after the show's release after statistics reveal an uptick in teen suicide.

"As we prepare to launch season three later this summer, we've been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show. So on the advice of medical experts, including Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, we've decided with creator Brian Yorkey and the producers to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from season one," Netflix said in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

At Trump's 'Social Media Summit' on Thursday, he bizarrely claimed Arnold Schwarzenegger had 'died' and he had witnessed said death. Wait, what?!


He didn't mean it literally - thank God. You can't be too sure! After all, he seemed to think that Frederick Douglass was still alive in February. More recently, he described a world in which the 1770s included airports. His laissez-faire approach to chronology is confusing, to say the least.

Keep Reading Show less
Democracy

Words matter. And they especially matter when we are talking about the safety and well-being of children.

While the #MeToo movement has shed light on sexual assault allegations that have long been swept under the rug, it has also brought to the forefront the language we use when discussing such cases. As a writer, I appreciate the importance of using varied wording, but it's vital we try to remain as accurate as possible in how we describe things.

There can be gray area in some topics, but some phrases being published by the media regarding sexual predation are not gray and need to be nixed completely—not only because they dilute the severity of the crime, but because they are simply inaccurate by definition.

One such phrase is "non-consensual sex with a minor." First of all, non-consensual sex is "rape" no matter who is involved. Second of all, most minors legally cannot consent to sex (the age of consent in the U.S. ranges by state from 16 to 18), so sex with a minor is almost always non-consensual by definition. Call it what it is—child rape or statutory rape, depending on circumstances—not "non-consensual sex."

Keep Reading Show less
Culture