“Mannequins” in Milan

Swimsuit models in Milan cause a stir by posing half-naked in a store window.

Images courtesy of Reuters

Models appearing in shorts and bikinis in the window of a department store in central Milan caused a stir over the weekend, with Italy’s trade unions denouncing the “merchandisation” of the human body. The male and female models first appeared last week in the windows of the Coin department store to promote the summer sale on swimwear, prompting Italy’s Filcams CGIL trade union to criticize work deemed degrading. The models briefly disappeared from the windows, but were back on view last Saturday, this time holding signs saying “Modeling is also a job.”

On Monday, the models were gone for good, but Coin’s chief executive Stefano Beraldo, speaking at the group’s general assembly in Mestre near Venice, congratulated himself on the free publicity the union offered his group and said they had provided an employment opportunity for young people. “We have given these kids a job and we paid their costs. They prefer to work rather than staying idle on the streets. So what?”

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