Girls from a performing burlesque group have been telling Southend News Network that they are ‘outraged’ after being informed that their planned float had been cancelled over fears that their outfits and routines could lead to offence amongst certain sections of the community.
Pretty Kitty Productions, a nine-strong group of ladies from all over the Southend area, has been wowing crowds both locally and nationally since 2012, and they were originally asked to ‘make history, as Southend Carnival’s first ever burlesque-themed float – however it has now emerged that organisers Southend Carnival Co. have told them that their place has been cancelled because of a complaint from a member of the public.
Group leader Krakin’ Kat told our Chief Reporter that they were all ‘in tears’ when they received the devastating news yesterday, and she even hinted that the group will try and ‘gatecrash’ the event in some way.
Kat said: ‘We have been rehearsing our routine for weeks, and our outfits had been carefully chosen to strike the perfect balance between tasteful burlesque style and promoting a healthy idea of body image for women of all shapes and sizes. It is a given fact of burlesque that a reasonable amount of female flesh will be on show, and in many ways we also create a perfect example for young girls to admire as we are sending out a clear message that there is nothing wrong with having confidence in your own body.’
‘Our rehearsals were at the final stage yesterday, when all of a sudden we received a phone call from the carnival organisation committee to say that our place had been withdrawn over a complaint from a member of the public. Apparently someone had been in touch to say that our outfits have the potential to offend people from a number of different religious and cultural backgrounds who may object to excessive amounts of skin being on show, and so they had no alternative but to cancel our float – we are disgusted.’
‘Given the average outfit that can be spotted on Southend seafront during the Summer, I would say that there is nothing wrong with what we choose to wear. We are so upset about this that we are strongly considering gatecrashing the event in one way or another, tassels and all.’
We contacted a representative of the carnival to try and find out more about the complaint, and a statement was received earlier today.
It said: ‘When we approve float themes for the Southend Carnival, we have to be incredibly careful to not allow any displays that could offend, scare or upset anybody – as far as we are concerned one offended person is one person too many.’
‘Therefore, we regretfully had to inform the group of burlesque ladies that their presence will no longer be required on Saturday. The local council has made it perfectly clear that the carnival can only continue if policing costs are kept at an absolute minimum, and it is well-known that offended people can be very costly to police.’
Although no further details of the complaint have been officially released, a source confirmed to Southend News Network that the concerns were originally raised by a prominent member of the Orthodox Primarkian Community.