Politicians are normally judged by what they do rather than on what they wear, but one lawmaker in Brazil has caused a stir over her ‘revealing’ first-day outfit choice and says she’ll sue those abusing her online.
Ana Paula da Silva, known locally as Paulinha, had previously served two stints as a city mayor before being elected to the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina’s Legislative Assembly in October. But she rose to wider public attention in January, after pictures posted from the assembly’s opening day went viral and began to garner some unsavory attention.
The striking red outfit with the plunging neckline that the state deputy wore was quick to attract comments online. Some immediately questioned if it was the right place for her to wear it.
Others were quick to praise and deem Paulinha’s clothing choice as “appropriate for the place” and pointed out it is the character of the politician that counts. Some joked that “she went clubbing” after the formalities at the Assembly had ended.
However, many were scathing in their assessment calling her the “representative of prostitutes” and some even making references to rape.
Paulinha struck back at the worst of the trolls on Monday, saying that her team has made copies of the offending comments. They will be filed as part of a lawsuit to bring the most malicious commenters to justice, among them a police officer in the state. Any compensation she receives will be donated to a charity of abused women.
“I thought people were going to talk about the red, but they just focused on the cleavage,” she told local network NSC TV, adding that “the way I dress is my problem.”
“Women have breasts and I have big breasts, I’ve always been like that,” she said, adding that she won’t “become another woman” after becoming a deputy.
“The message has been given,” she said. “Women are in politics and society has to get used to it. There are much more important issues for the Legislative Assembly to discuss.”
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