OFFENSIVE: This image has been covered after complaints from a Christian lobby group.
OFFENSIVE: This image has been covered after complaints from a Christian lobby group. Contributed

Bikini pic causes storm in D-cup

HERE I was thinking that the big country town days of Brisbane were consigned to history.

It would appear that our state's biggest annual exhibition has still not quite broken free of the tyranny of the conservative mindset.

Drifting among the crowds at the Ekka this year is a breed of person whose mind is so closed from the realities of this world that the mere sight of an artistic depiction of a woman in a bikini may cause them to fly into a fit of panic.

Worrywarts like the Australian Christian Lobby may be relatively insignificant in number, but they do seem to wield an unholy amount of power.

The ACL has proven that it has the intention to enforce its will over the general population - a characteristic which immediately arouses my suspicion glands.

We saw an example of it this week, with the debate over this mural-type painting of a bikini-clad woman on a sideshow alley ride.

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RNA officials not only swiftly covered up the picture, which was part of the Riptide ride at the Ekka, but they also apologised for "any offence caused".

The ACL's problem seemed to be that the image promoted the objectification of women.

The group's state director, Wendy Francis, also indicated that children could be at risk of psychological harm.

"Our children's innocence should not be compromised by attending the Brisbane Ekka" her petition said.

Fair enough argument, I suppose. Children should be allowed to enjoy the Ekka with mum and dad and not have to avert their eyes to myriad sexualised imageries.

What are we actually talking about here, though? This complaint seems to centre on one image (not an actual woman) of a woman in a bikini.

The bikini was invented in the 1940s and, while it might have been considered a bit risqué at first, is pretty much the norm today.

Go down to any beach in Australia and you are sure to see women - not unlike the one depicted in this scandalous mural - in bikinis.

Can children be shielded from accepted norms in society?

I say no, as long as it is within reason.

If Ms Francis is worried about children getting the wrong idea from viewing this image, I fear she might be imposing her own gut reactions to such imagery on people that are still too young and innocent to even care.

If the children Ms Francis is trying to protect are truly innocent - as they should be - then surely all they would see in this image is a lady in a bikini, and nothing more.

I would think that there are much bigger fish for this lobby group to fry.



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