POLITICS
AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Baring their message

The day 100 naked women welcomed Trump to Cleveland

Photographer Spencer Tunick's latest art project is first of many planned protests.

Just a word of warning: This article contains nudity. But also a message — so, act like an adult.

Well, it's one way of saying hi.

On July 17, 2016 — the eve of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland — photographer Spencer Tunick posed 100 women — stripped naked and holding large mirror discs — across the water from Quickens Loan Arena, where Donald Trump will become the GOP's presidential candidate.

AFP/Getty Images

The project, called "Everything She Says Means Everything," has been in the works since 2013.

Tunick, known for his photographs of naked subjects, wrote on his website, "Republicans, Democrats and all other political parties were welcome to take part reflecting their anger through art against the hateful repressive rhetoric of many in the Republican Party towards women and minorities.

"(Donald) Trump and (Mike) Pence are giving many in America the belief that is OK to hate."

Tunick wrote the project reflects "the knowledge and wisdom of progressive women and the concept of 'Mother Nature' into and onto the convention center, cityscape and horizon of Cleveland.

"The mirrors communicate that we are a reflection of ourselves, each other, and of, the world that surrounds us. The woman becomes the future and the future becomes the woman."

Gabby O'Neill made a video of the event and posted it on YouTube. (Of course, there's nudity here, so be warned.)


Photographer Spencer Tunick is known for his large-scale art installations, featuring anyone brave enough to shuck their clothes and pose nude in public alongside plenty of strangers. Tunick's latest project, "Everything She Says Means Everything," took place Sunday morning outside the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The installation, which Tunick and his team also documented, featured 100 naked women holding disc-shaped mirrors, designed to "[reflect] the knowledge and wisdom of progressive women and the concept of 'Mother Nature' into and onto the convention center, cityscape, and horizon of Cleveland."

Since that day in July, Tunick has put together a documentary on the day and his reasons behind it. Better still, his website lets the participants speak for themselves as to why they took part. It's quite impacting.

Of course, the female body and its rights are a hotly contested battleground in this year's elections, with the Republican platform veering ever further toward anti-choice legislation. Donald Trump's VP pick, Mike Pence, has a reprehensible record when it comes to women's reproductive rights, even going so far as to try and deny federal funding to Planned Parenthood. The question is whether or not Tunick's message will be received by its intended recipients the way it was meant — or, for that matter, at all.

Esquire.com's Kate Storey talked to a number of the women involved in the project, and they all had different reasons for being there: some avowedly anti-Trump, and some more on the spectrum of nudity as liberation, or protest in and of itself.

"I'm here because I'm a trans woman, and we're not supposed to like our bodies, and I don't like that," one participant told Storey. "It's going to be great! I'm very antsy; it's like Christmas morning."

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