Rolling out the red carpet, sex workers in Spain have put on a fashion show in central Madrid, in a plea for peaceful co-existence. They are protesting against plans to buy up and develop the premises in which they ply their trade.
Organisers say they want to show they are no threat to locals if they stay in the area. “We feel that our work is not socially acknowledged,” sex worker Carolina Hernandez said. “We are overshadowed by the femme fatale label. This is about showing we can do many things as well as what we already do. We choose to practise prostitution, and it should be our prerogative to decide where we want to work.”
So as onlookers watched bemused, around a dozen sex workers, sporting stilettos and eye-watering garb, strutted their stuff. Whether the residents and local shopkeepers were convinced, remains to be seen.
Some of the outfits were the girls’ own, others came from a local designer and still more had been featured in a movie, called “Princesses”, about love and friendship in the world of the night. Prostitution is illegal in Spain but tolerated and very visible.