Acid attack victims conquer the runway in Bangladesh

Happy International Women’s Day! Today, more than any other day, it is important to talk about women. Let’s let aside Paris Fashion Week and talk about a different kind of fashion show, this time in Asia, in Bangladesh.

Tuesday, in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, there was an unique fashion show where the models were no ordinary. The 15 models who walked down the runway were all survivors of acid attacks, which is quite common in Bangladesh. Spurned lovers or disgruntled family members usually resort to hurling skin burning acid at their victims.

The unusual fashion show was attended by both fashion lovers and diplomats such as the U.S. envoy. It’s main goal was to redefine the perception of beauty while raising awareness to the brutality of such attacks. The models, among whom where three men, walked down the runway while singing dancing and showcasing beautifully  woven handloom Bangladeshi pieces created by local designer Bibi Russel.

Organizers said they hoped to highlight the fact that acid victims, too often overlooked, are a vital part of society. They deliberately chose to hold the event on the eve of International Women’s Day.

One of the main problems that Bangladesh has been dealing with in the recent decades is acid attacks. The authorities have instituted harsh punishments for those who use acid to mutilate others. Among them there is even the death sentence. In addition, the country provides doctors with special training in order for them to treat such delicate cases as statistics show that the number of cases is flourishing.

In 2016, for example, approximately 44 people were attacked with acid in Bangladesh. Even though the government is currently attempting to control the sale of the acid, it has unfortunately failed to eliminate it completely.

The fashion designer whose pieces were presented in the event claimed that she was happy to participate. She is hoping that the show would have as a result the redefinition of beauty and prompt people to see acid victims for their strength.