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Toronto’s annual Caribbean Carnival is about to get a whole lot more risqué. It was revealed this week that festival dancers will be topless at Caribana for the first time in the event’s 52-year history. According to CBC, the decision was thought up by celebrity photographer Yvonne Stanley, who wishes to change how women of colour view their bodies.
"We need some more positive representations of women of colour in the media," she said during an interview with CBC Toronto. "Where's the love for the bodies of women of colour? Where is the celebration?
“We hope to create a safe space for self-love and challenge the current standards and beliefs about beauty,” it continues.
The decision ended a lengthy court battle started by Gwen Jacob who was arrested by police in 1991 for walking topless down a street in Guelph, Ontario. To prepare for the festival, Stanley reached out to several of the mas bands that will take part in Saturday’s parade and asked them to help establish a topless presence in the ceremony. One of the groups will reportedly be providing space on its float for four Boob Book Project "ambassadors," as well as two security guards.