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:

That first car is a rite of passage into adulthood. Specifically, the hard-earned lesson of expectations versus reality. Though some of us are blessed with Teslas at 17, most teenagers receive a car that’s been … let’s say previously loved. And that’s probably a good thing, considering nearly half of first-year drivers end up in wrecks. Might as well get the dings on the lemon, right?

Of course, wrecks aside, buying a used car might end up costing more in the long run after needing repairs, breaking down and just a general slew of unexpected surprises. But hey, at least we can all look back and laugh.

My first car, for example, was a hand-me-down Toyota of some sort from my mother. I don’t recall the specific model, but I definitely remember getting into a fender bender within the first week of having it. She had forgotten to get the brakes fixed … isn’t that a fun story?

Jimmy Fallon recently asked his “Tonight Show” audience on Twitter to share their own worst car experiences. Some of them make my brake fiasco look like cakewalk (or cakedrive, in this case). Either way, these responses might make us all feel a little less alone. Or at the very least, give us a chuckle.

Here are 22 responses with the most horsepower:

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"Veteran" mom and "new" mom parent differently.

When a couple has their first child, they start out with the greatest of intentions and expectations. The child will only eat organic food. They will never watch TV or have screen time and will always stay clean.

But soon, reality sets in and if they have more kids, they'll probably be raised with a lot less attention. As a result, first-born kids turn out a bit differently than their younger siblings.

"Rules are a bit more rigid, attention and validation is directed and somewhat excessive," Niro Feliciano, LCSW, a psychotherapist and anxiety specialist, told Parents. "As a result, firstborns tend to be leaders, high achievers, people-pleasing, rule-following and conscientious, several of the qualities that tend to predict success."

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