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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Question and Answer With Band Leader

Hi what are your recommendations for first time masqueraders looking to register with all inclusive bands after the costumes that they want are sold out to previous masqueraders?

Well what I always suggest is to register in the next available section you like, ultimately if the band is popular your section will sell out as well. At least if you don't succeed in your endeavor you will still be playing mas, and if you do, it should not be hard to sell your costume. Then hunt for something in the section you want . Post wanted ads on the band's website ( all have this facility) and if necessary in the classifieds of the news paper.Even post an incentive fee for the costume. And if all else fails go to the mas camp on the delivery day of your hunted section and see if anyone is willing to sell, swap, or resell at a higher price . It's all up to what you are willing to do.

2.I want to know the selection process for the models featured in the launch/website? Why is there not more variety in size and ethnicity? When will we see a plus sized model featured next to her slimmer counterpart?

As far as a plus sized models being placed along side a a smaller model. This is a good idea, but would be hard to do.Time and cost would almost be doubled because you will be making two of each. Not very practical, it would be better to either do one or the other, or both in a select few sections depending on the size demographic of your average masquerader. As far as ethnicity again this also depends on the ethnic make up off your band, If you wanted to target the Indo-Trini, you would advertise where most listen, watch or read. i,e. 106fm 103fm Zee TV etc.. Afro-Trini 96.1fm 105.1fm Gayelle TV. and so on This may seem unfair, but It's done everyday, models tend to reflect proportionately the ethnic make up of your band.

3.This one came via email:
I'm wondering if you could Address the Issue of, dare i say It "MALE Frontline Costumes". I'm really Interested in doing the Frontline thing But it never seems to Be an Option in Any band?..

Can You make an appeal for Us Guys Who want to stay with the Band an have a good time with a "costume" rather than a Board shorts and half assed headpiece.

We would love to but we would first have to find the guys willing to do it. Trini men are so peculiar on what their tolerance for a costume would be. In my experience they tend to discard they costume at the earliest opportunity.And only play in costume because their wifes / girlfriends encourage them, or security makes it difficult to be in the band without costume. I suggest if you have a group of your male friends who are willing to play and pay for a front line costume, then go early to your band of choice and make this known , Who knows they might facilitate you.


Tiffany Yelitza said...

Good answers, although I found the response to plus sized models was sort of avoided a bit? And didn't really tackle the concern. Average size women that make up a significant portion of the band are as skinny as the models that show the costumes? I find that a bit hard to believe. Or is that just me?

dajewel1982 said...

the response about the plus-sized/ethnic models is in so many words saying, "well, we don't them in our band, and that is why we don't attract them." the response is so wrong on so many levels.

SLK said...

"models tend to reflect proportionately the ethnic make up of your band"
blatent lie!!!

Janet's Daughter said...

Your are saying: "models tend to reflect proportionately the ethnic make up of your band"

for a new band starting outfirst time ever, and not having varying ethnic models and or sizes says a lot to me.

in a nutshell it is saying for the new band - this is what we want in our band and this is what it will look like.

and for the bands that starting the 'face of' trend.. let me just say this if the model you choose as the face of your band is the spokes person and reflection of your band then for some of the bands out there you should only have 25yrs and under, size 4 in your band.

Come on now stop the nonsense with this we need a 'face of' to play mas??

further to the plus size answer, forgive me for saying my opinion - it is complete B.S.. The same time a band goes through the process of doin 2 and 3 and 4 shots of the smae model over and over for one section and then if you have a frontline, it's a completely different model, it's the same time you can take to use a plus size/full figured model to do some of the shots......

dajewel1982 said...

exactly, janet's daughter!!! complete B.S!! I am curious to know who is said bandleader...

Lady said...

Hey Guys
I have to disagree with you'll on this one.
Every year there are people raising the question about slim and plus size models.
Maybe the band leader should have tackled the question differently. Firstly the main thing when looking for a model to do your photoshoot and 'model' on band launching night is to find someone who is able to model, able to photograph well and ultimately able to appeal and sell a costume to the majority of masqueraders.
The thing is its strange to see people complaining about using slim models to model costumes when the bottom line is if the best models are not choosen the impact of the overall presentation may be lacking. I can recall sometime ago it was mentioned here about the use of models who seemed not to look the part. (correct me if I'm wrong sauce it could be about bands form the other islands not here.) Anyway my point is any smart realistic bandleader would look for a model who they think would sell their costume and appeal to most people. Secondly in my humble opinion it is difficult to find plus size women who would want to model costumes. We hardly even see plus size models doing catwalk etc. in Trinidad. I hardly ever see plus size models showing up for any casting calls if you'll know of good plus size models you should tell them to go to the casting calls and if there is blatant disregard then we may have a case.
Well ethnicity is another story altogether in the modelling industry in Trinidad I will have to touch on that when I have more time.

quiksilver said...

"As far as ethnicity again this also depends on the ethnic make up off your band, If you wanted to target the Indo-Trini, you would advertise where most listen, watch or read. i,e. 106fm 103fm Zee TV etc.. Afro-Trini 96.1fm 105.1fm Gayelle TV. and so on."


this guy/woman really needs to do more market research...

chris said...

I didn't find his answers that bad.

I seriously don't see the problem with the models that are used for the launches or websites. Trinidad is a majority mixed society right? SO if most of the models are mixed so what? The models used are beautiful and show the costumes well. Although Spice models were some of the skinnest I've seen a a while! One of them has ribs sticking out on the website (Peppercorn). I know some pple are sensitive about the ethnicity of models used by the bands, but personally I am too busy looking at the costumes to care about what race the models are.

As for the plus sized thing. What's the big deal? Look I am not skinny, or even slim, in fact these days I'm more on the chubby side yes, but I have no desire to see plus sized models in the costumes. It just does not bother me. To be honest, I also didn't like the uber skinny models used by Spice, but I usually find the other bands use some nice, curvy, toned girls. And seeing them in costume gives me motivation for the gym. So I would actually say I'd prefer not to see plus-sized or uber skinny girls modeling. The ideal would be fit, toned girls with curves.

Anyway, that's my two cents.

band said...

Ok I see that The comments hit a nerve. But It is the truth, As far as advertising to different ethnic groups Quick silver You are wrong.. All advertising Agencies live by the MFO survey thats is done yearly to bi yearly and this report is the basis of where millions of Dollars are spent. If you knew what you were talking about then you would know that this survey reports on the reading, watching, and viewing preferences of Trinidad and Tobago. Rating them by age,income,location and Ethnicity. And radio stations and the music they play target specific ethnic groups. There is no denying it. Dare I say PNM and UNC, they welcome voters from every race but we all know that the PNM base is majority Black and UNC is majority East Indian. It's not a bad thing, it's just a part of life and any smart business man would factor ethnicity and in this case the size, as well as the other factors mentioned above of the majority of their masqueraders, and appeal first to them. It's not discrimination unless you deny someone access to your band based on any of the above criteria Everyone has a budget to work by so, your money will be spent on where it will be most effective.

Ria said...

i asked the size and ethnic makeup question because people always gripe about that. but does anyone think that those very very skimpy costumes are made for a plus sized masqueraders? that alone should tell certian bodies (pun intended) that the band is not for you, find a band with more cloth if you have more extra pounds carrying around. it is harsh but reality is if you weigh 200lbs why you want to be in a costume designed for a woman 120lbs? The designer has a vision of how their mas wants to look and who says that the plus sized masquerader has to be accommodated just because she wants to fit into a costume that is obviously not appropriate? if you want to wear the skimpy costume loose some pounds!from ash Wednesday you have enough time to hit the gym if you know you want to play in a two piece and some beads.and all this hating on skinny chicks no one talks about. I am kinda fed up of people wanting to play in the hottest skimpiest band when they should be looking at trini revelers or mc farlane with loads of cloth to cover their bodies.

and who say that African is the only race in Trinidad? this is a cosmpoloitan country and plenty of the models represent the red mix up girls and the Indian girls and the Chinese girls no one complains that they don't have enough light skinned/Indian/chinese models only that they don't have enough black ones. besides is just one set of models making the rounds anyway so it has to be that the pickings are slim!

Scotty said...

I totally agree with Ria, I do photography and I see so many women wearing the wrong costume,not becasue you like a costume it may not suit you, I have seen women adding pieces to hide their stomach, remember the band leaders designed the costume to look a certain way and when you do this u take away from the look,as ria said you have choices to choose another band or section,and for the front-line ladies, if you do not look good do not do the front line and dont jump in front all the cameras, If you have a DD or bigger and do not have the booty that's fine but stay away from the body suit.

quiksilver said...

band - i work in advertising. the stations presented to doeal with certain sements of the market are steoeotypical and border on insulting.

Scotty said...

I am a business-person and you have to make your product attractive in order to attract the buyer, if I see a costume on a XXL person I may not (will not) be interested so one cannot be mad at the bandleaders in their advertising. dont hate appreciate, congratulate and stop drinking the hater juice people accept your size who you are and stop living in denial..

afro chic said...

I am totally amazed at the comment left on the blog today. WOW...just WOW.

Ornella said...

well said Ria, I find it ironic that the same people who fighting to get into the 'in' band are the same ones complaining about the lack of plus sixzed models, let's be honest the main stream costume does not really cater to the larger girls, honestly, who the hell wants to see chubby chubs with the same little piece of fringe hanging in front of her parts as ms. model? you know though if you did put plus sized models into the photo shoot the same larger women will be turned off because they see the images of the smaller models and want to be that.As the band leader you have the right to use whatever images you like, if you need to lose your weight lose your weight!

dc trini said...
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dougla_1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dougla_1 said...

"Trini men are so peculiar on what their tolerance for a costume would be."

" makes it difficult to be in the band without costume."

So what is a brilliant costume designer suppose to do???!! Well, the flipping answer is simply: build it and they will come. Here is the problem: ok "silly" men don't what headpiece, gone...ditch it; neck/shoulder piece, gone...ditch it; armpiece, gone...ditch it; shinpiece, gone...ditch it; waistpiece, mostly worn...keep it, sufer/board shorts (they've got to WEAR something); underpants, maybe (well that's a personal choice).

So here is what we have for the male costume they would wear: a bottom piece (yes board short, but please do vary to break up the boring monotonous look in the entire band), waistpiece, and underpants. Ok, Mr and Mrs and Ms boss designers WORK with DAT and make the presentation of the males MORE IMPACTFUL! Yes, for sure MANLY, and dazzling as the male EQUIVALENT of the female's interpretation for the section. And they DON'T have be the same materials for the section (colours, yes, mostly.) Search allyuh brains and talent. For example what would the spice paprika mean for a male, or the bird kiskadee. Surely, it DOESN'T mean only just a piece of material from the hott female costume of the section. The challenge is to interpret the male on its own and it must complement the female, and together they will blow people away!

I am NOT in favor of men NOT playing MAS, even in a sexy bikini mas band!

dajewel1982 said...

whoa, whoa, whoa!!!! some of these comments are not just borderline insulting; they ARE insulting and degrading!!!! for the record and for all its worth, i am a smallie and i do find it insulting with these comments. it would be a great thing if the bands EQUALLY catered to everyone. you mean to tell me that the designers don't see that the issues with not catering to ALL body types can lead to very unhealthy ways some people view and take care of themselves?!?!? i mean, come on, you don't see a downright moral problem with this??? a whole paradigm shift must be in place in order to fully acknowledge the full spectrum of the female sizes!!!

Anonymous said...

Here we go with people and their race and size moaning again.

Models are exactly that - models.
There to sell a costume and photograph well.
So I have to agree with Lady and Scotty.

Like any other fashion industry, unless you are specifically targeting a fuller figured market, the default tends to be size 0 to 2. End of!

Again, I think it is equally wrong to select or not select a model just for the sake of a race quota. Geez - is Trinidad gonna turn into little South Africa now?

No matter what you do, the models selected will never ever reflect the full ethnic make-up and mixes in Trinidad. Deal with it and chill out - take your money elsewhere if you do not like the "face" of the band.

Socaholic said...

Band a couple corrections-

The last Advertising Agency Association media survey was carried out in March 2007.

MFO gave up the responsibility since many media houses refused to pay the "exorbitant" fee associated with the survey. As such AAA now funds the process. There were also questions concerning accuracy and allegations that some stations paid something on the side to attain the number 1 position in their target audience.

Secondly 55% of households in Trinidad have cable service. Hardly representative of the population as a whole.

Kindly get your "facts" straight before you try to pigeon hole the population.


in response to male frontlines / just decent male costumes full stop dont they feel a bit stupid pre predicting what men want? i mean do band find females for thier frontlines or do the females find the band and which frontline they would like? would it not be the same for guys? if they had them available which they never have they may be surprised! i hate it when bands only supply what they think u may want rather than what we actually want! I AM A MALE AND I WOULD LIKE A MALE FRONTLINE AND I KNOW MALES THAT WOULD WANT ONE TOO!!!!

chris said...

I agree with Ornella and Ria. Seriously, why are people clamouring for plus sized girls to model skimpy costumes? Soooo bizzare! Especially for bands like the ones we play in, which are all about sexiness. The point is to hit the gym and put your best body forward on carnival Monday and Tuesday! I have work to do, but thats part of the fun! Getting fit for carnival so I can look like the "model" in the costume.

Additionally, plus sized girls do NOT make up the majority of bands like IP, TRIBE. So why in the world should they be included in the model line up? As i said before, these days I'm more chubby than slim, so this is not coming from a skinny chick at all. But I know that if I am to fit into my TRIBE costume, I have to hit the gym and lose the pounds. It's that simple.

BACCHANALMAS, I agree with you. The bandleaders have never polled the guys to find out what they want. They assume board shorts are enough. But even Saucys husband refuses to play in an ugly costume. In fact Tribes awful choices this year made him go to Harts. So it is obvious there is a market for male frontlines, or at least for more elaborate male costumes.

Voluptuous Masquerader said...

I agree that every costume is for everybody, and this does not solely apply to plus sized people. We as women of ALL sizes have to take responsibility for how we present ourselves whether it is on the road for carnival or the in the work place. For instance, the skinniest large breasted women may have a tendency to shy away from halter type bras because of the pressure that the weight of their breasts put on the back of the neck, causing discomfort.

Would this skinny woman have the right to ask the bandleader to make adjustments for her? ABSOLUTELY! And that right to ask is reserved for everyone INCLUDING plus sized woman.

(Please note. I also feel that it is absolutely within the band leader’s right grant or to deny that request, it is their band after all.)

I cannot speak for other plus sized women, but I can say if a particular band leader decided to deny the request, it would be fine with me. It would let me know where NOT to spend my hard earned money. It would just be a matter of me exercising my consumer power and not giving that band my business. But what I have found over the years is that many of these bands leaders are less concerned about the size of a woman’s waistline, and much more interested in the size of her wallet!!! For some, they may see the plus sized adjustments as a win/win situation. They buy beads and fabric for cheap in bulk, and can slap on another $600 - $1200 TT for their adjustment troubles. Plus size beauty is happy, and so is the mas camp’s bank account. (Smile)

As to loosing some pounds from Ash Wednesday… that is a very good suggestion. However, for some people, no matter how many pounds they loose, Genetics is the powerful offspring of Mother Nature. When she wields her mighty DNA wand, many of us cannot simple say, “ABRACADABRA”, and send the big butt of mummy, the large breasts of Tantie Merle, or the little pooch belly of Great Grandma Dinah off into oblivion. As a side note, I also want to point out, that I AM an advocate for exercise but with an emphasis of exercising for HEALTH. Anyone can crash off pounds, but at what expense to their overall health? Hence, I encourage ALL women to be kind to, and to celebrate their bodies and work with what we have. And while you are working it….WERK IT WELL!!!

I am saddened thatsome young ladies are fed up of people like me wanting to play in skimpy bands. So much for sister hood eh?

When will the time come when we will begin to advocate for one another as women, and not let something as small and unimportant as a costume divide us when worldwide our children are dying, wars are waging, and the earth is wasting away.

I want to be very clear that my opinion on this subject goes BOTH WAYS. I too, cannot stand to hear the Plus size beauties "hate" on the smaller girls. PLEASE DO NOT participate in this behaviour ladies. To hear women diss and hate on each other, is not only unattractive on all body types, it is downright counterproductive. No one wears intolerance well; it is not a cute accessory.

As for those who automatically equate sexy with skinny, you have a lot to learn. The ultimate Sexiness is on THE INSIDE. Are you kind to neighbor? DO you promote tolerance and unity? DO you stand up against injustice? Now THAT is SEX-XAY!!

For those of us who are Trinbagonians, let us begin to not sing the words of our anthem in vain, but to sing them with sincerity, that us THE WOMEN, will be the ones to advocate for every creed, race, (and SIZE), to have an equal place…. AND MAY GOD BLESS OUR NATION!

Be safe. Be well. Be beautiful!


chris said...

Well said VM. But i think the discussion is about the models used for launches and the websites. OF COURSE all sizes etc MUST be allowed to play mas in whatever band they choose!

I certainly do not think plus sized girls should not play in a skimpy band. I dont think anyone feels that way. At least I hope no one feels that way! Everyone should play in whatever band they like, and band leaders should certainly cater for ALL sizes. I cant imagine it any other way. My point is ONLY about the models and the launches.

There have been years where I played in a small bottom, medium bottom and one year a large bottom. Fluctuation of weight. lol. So i know what it's like to struggle with body issues and carnival. But as VM said, sexiness is not skinniness, but about feeling your best and putting your best face/body forward. That;s how I see it.

Anyway, I agree with VM about sisterhood etc etc. SO i dont wanna write more on this issue. Looking forward to seeing all my sistas of all shapes, sizes and skin tones on the road for 2K9!!!!!!!!!!

DeRedting said...

Wow ladies some of these comments are downright insulting! In terms of plus sized women playing in "skimpy" costumes I dont think that was the point. The point was that bandleaders should design costumes that can accomodate the larger sized woman AND show the costumes. Folks are speaking about not wanting to see a fuller figured woman modeling a costume. Sorry to inform those folks but if you pull any random 10 women off the street in Trinidad chances are they are that at least 7 out of those 10 are at least a size 10+. That is a significant chunk of underserved population and bandleaders should really note that these plus sized women also have wallets with the same money as tiny women. Trini women are a curvy, beautiful sexy lot no matter what colour we are. Our hips have been driving men bazodee for years lol heck I have been living abroad for years and never ever have I heard any man complain about our West Indian beauties, they love us in all shapes and sizes. Why cant we love ourselves the same way?

Lady said...

More about ethnicity and size.

First off to band and Ria (and anyone else who uses the word)'BLACK' is not a Race/Ethnicity, African is so please stop referring to people of African descent as 'black' while you refer to everyone else by East Indian Chinese etc.( I have major issues with this)

That said I'm amazed to see how people view each other. I understand the issues that plus size women face but to be harsh and say that you should play with a band with plenty cloth is a little insulting. If a plus size woman believes she could play skimpy mas that's her business she would have to deal with the consequences whatever they may be. I've seen some slim women look terrible on the road so who is to say plus size women are the ones who look bad.

And as I always say it may not be the Band leaders preference to make costumes for all sizes but its your money that jumping up in their pockets, so if you don't like the band, the models they choose to represent them, the girls in the mas camp when you go to register, the way they behave on the road, then DON"T give these people your money. Play with a band that you feel comfortable with(like I do)
and stop making people rich when the don't care about you.

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

well said VM and Lady.

crab and dumpling said...

I must agree fully with Lady. There are a lot of plus sized ladies out there of every ethnicity AFRICAN (i too have a problem with ppl referring to Africans as black) East Indians Chinese Mixed looking lovely in costumes. Sorry but not all slim to skinny don't people look good and thin is not always in ( i am not thing or plus sized , i am in between and admire ppl of all sizes. Insulting someone's size is as bad as using derogatory names to refer to a race. Further more ppl need to embrace their body structure not all people are meant to be small ( so Ria suggesting that ppl need to hit the gym is an insult even if you don't see it that way).

Secondly, Trinidadians need to wake up. Only having light-skinned or mixed models is not a true representation of a COSMOPOLITAN nation. If you want to fully reflect the' textures and tones' of a cosmopolitan nature then we definitely need to have some dark-skinned persons to the mix and yes East Indians and Chinese need to be well represented as well. We are all not light-skinned or curly-headed individuals in Trinidad. Our physical traits vary drastically and so we need to be represented as such.

And Ria you making the comment about "is just one set of models making the rounds anyway so it has to be that the pickings are slim!" is true.. but the pickings aren't slim, masqueraders and advertisers chose certain types of persons to promote their products.. and i know this for a fact because i have a lot of friends who model, and the ones that are always chosen pretty much all look the same... so trinidad still has a long way to go especially if we want to boast of cosmopolitanism. i have no problem with plus sized persons in costumes .. in fact i think its wonderful...but like LADY said if you think people not catering for you then you need to spend your money where you are appreciated..People learn to love yourself.

And in case anyone wants to through stones this way. I am a Brown skinned 'callaloo' i just hate the way people simplify beauty. We are all beautiful. from the darkies to the reds from the Africans to the East Indians Chinese, Europeans. from the skinny people to the plus sized ones. we all are Beautiful.. Learn to accept differences, people who thrive on denigrating others, must have their own personal issues and if that's the case.. you need to work on it.

Happy and Safe Carnival 2k9 to one and all!!!!

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