For a large majority of people who attend festivals, the fashion is more important than the music.
Festivals are an excuse to dress unapologetically which lure in thousands of people, who use them as an opportunity to flaunt their taut thighs and toned stomaches in super short shorts and crop tops – no matter the weather. It is this need to dress up that sees the crowds morph into a sea of glitter, feathers and wellington boots mixed with the occasional psychedelic shirt and waxed jacket. However, recently festival fashion has taken an extreme turn. This past year has seen the rise of ‘glitter boobs’ which sees women topless women covering their modesty with colorful glitter and stick-on gems. Understandably the quirky look has received a lot of attention, not all of which has been positive. One person who has first-hand knowledge of this attention is 20-year-old Madeline Anello-Kitzmiller, who found herself the victim of a groping incident whilst attending the Rhythm & Vines Festival in New Zealand. The American-born blonde sported the ‘glitter boob’ look at the festival prompting an unidentified man to sneak up behind her and grope her breast – an incident which was caught on camera. Outraged by the anonymous man’s behavior, Madeline and her friend Kiri-Ann Hatfield – who was also sporting the eccentric look – turn around to launch a counter-attack. Stormy faced, they walk back towards the man, who by now has taken refuge with his friends, and begin to punch him. Video footage of the attack was shared online where it instantly went viral. But viewers were firmly divided when it came to deciding who was at fault for the incident. Some suggested that Madeline had “asked” to receive male attention by wearing the provocative fashion fad. “Well that’s what she gets when she wears something like that,” wrote one Facebook user.
Meanwhile, others argued in her defense stating that she didn’t deserve to be targeted for simply wearing what she wanted to. “Don’t get how this is any different to groping a girl in a bikini at the beach – still wrong,” wrote one supporter. Another echoed this sentiment by typing, “Good on her! No one has the right to touch you without consent! Naked or not! Learn some manners.” Madeline herself is unapologetic for her actions. “[I] hope that I’ve inspired women to feel comfortable in their bodies, no matter how they look, and to stick up for themselves when anybody says otherwise or tries to deny you the right to protect your own body,” she told Daily Mail Australia. “He grabbed my breast. I hit him. There was a lot of built up anger coming from harassment throughout the day,” she explained. “A human’s body is their own, and nobody has a right to touch you without your consent, regardless of what they’re wearing or the lack thereof.” “A couple [of] months ago, I was groped in the same way while I was fully clothed so the argument is a moot point anyway,” she continued. Meanwhile, her boyfriend Max Ashworth came to her defense, writing on Facebook, “‘What the f*** happened to treating people with love and respect? I’m so disappointed that people are still so ignorant here.” Despite the incident and the attention that her look was generating, Madeline did not choose to cover-up for the rest of the festival. Instead, she “literally danced till sunrise and had the best night ever despite everything.” The incident occurred at the popular Rhythm & Vine Festival. It is a three-day event in New Zealand which celebrates the New Year. This year, there were roughly 20,000 people in attendance – including the country’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Adrern. Those who thought that the ‘glitter boob’ trend would never catch on will be surprised to see that it is still alive and well in 2018, meaning that it will likely be popular on the festival circuit this summer. But will you be wearing it?