Plaza Singapura’s NomadX is taking a stand against sexual assault and victim shaming of women in Asia this April with #DontTellMeHowToDress. An initiative fronted by Thai supermodel and actress, Ms Cindy Sirinya Bishop (best known as the host of “Asia’s Next Top Model”), what was initially a social media campaign quickly evolved into something far greater as Philippines and now, Singapore has caught on to the movement. Supported by the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) and its Aim for Zero campaign, as well as the UN Women network organisation and Beam Artistes, this brand new exhibition seeks to question victim-blaming for gender-based violence and is proof of how sexual violence can happen to anyone regardless of how they act or dress.
Ms. Bishop, herself a survivor of sexual harassment, started the campaign as someone appalled by the Thai government’s advice for women to either dress appropriately or risk sexual harassment. In believing that women should have the right to choose how they dress and remain safe at the same time, the hashtag #DontTellMeHowToDress began as a means for survivor stories to be heard and act as an avenue for help. Says Ms. Bishop: “Sexual harassment and assault is a huge issue in our society that no one really talks about… There are many myths, stereotypes and a culture of victim blaming when it comes to women who have been assaulted. Women who do report sexual harassment and violence tell us they need better support by friends, colleagues, families, and communities.”
The exhibition itself will feature articles of clothes worn by Singaporean survivors of sexual violence at the time of their assault, as well as portraits of supporters of the cause, from celebrities to luminaries, as well as other interactive elements that tackle the theme of sexual assault and victim shaming of women in Asia.
The exhibition will also be fronted by local celebrities Paul Foster, Wallace Ang, Gina Tan, May Wan, Choy Wan, Christabel Chua, Sylvia Chan, Charina, Becca D’Bus, Sonia Chew and Eunice Olsen, amongst others, who have all pledged their support for the campaign. Join these celebrities and womankind as a whole in understanding that victim-blaming is a no go, and women can and should be able to wear anything and everything they want without fear of assault with #DontTellMeHowToDress.
#DontTellMeHowToDress runs till 21st April 2019 at NomadX, located at 68 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238839 Plaza Singapura #01-67/#03-65 to 69. For more information, visit their Instagram here