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Meet the Man Behind the Vagina Costumes at the RNC

Jo Piazza is a Senior Editor at Current TV. She's currently in Tampa covering the Republican National Convention and agreed to indulge us and find ou
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Jo Piazza is a Senior Editor at Current TV. She's currently in Tampa covering the Republican National Convention and agreed to indulge us and find out how the Code Pink protestors make those awesome vagina costumes.

TAMPA--For a party celebrating a party that despises female genitalia, there certainly is a lot of talk about lady parts round Tampa this week. This is due in large part to protests instigated by Code Pink, an anti-war, pro-women’s rights group that had the grand idea to dress as vaginas during their activities in Tampa. Those vaginas, which fall loosely over wearers’ necks much like a vintage Halston halter dress, have taken on a life of their own at the RNC. They sing. They dance. They are near omnipresent. While driving to an event last night I watched as a man carried them, slung limply over his shoulder, to the next protest. “Are those the vaginas?” I yelled out the window. “They sure are,” he replied and flapped the ends of one at me lazily. I wanted more of those vaginas in my life. I went straight to the source, the vagina designer if you will—Los Angeles based costume and prop designer, Tighe Barry. (He was the prop master for the movie Holes according to IMDB...go figure.) “We were sitting around all together and we decided the war on women has to become more well known, so we decided on the theme: bring your vagina to the RNC,” Barry said. “It is an anatomical body part and nothing to be ashamed of. So they asked me to make vagina costumes and I said I would be honored.” Barry was inspired in part by Eve Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues.”

The six foot long Code Pink vaginas are constructed from a foam core and lined with a patterned pink ribbon Barry bought in the fashion district in LA. The insides of the vaginas are composed of a fuzzy material obtained second hand at the Salvation Army. “Everything here is inexpensive,” Barry said. “It was the desire and attitude that brought it out." Pre-made vagina costumes are available on the Internet. Barry and Code Pink didn’t want to go in that direction. “There are commercially made vagina costumes but they just were not for us,” Barry said. “It's amazing to think that Chinese workers are paid 25 cents an hour to make vaginas for American women.” Code Pink was able to create their larger than life sized vaginas for less than $7 a costume and they plan to re-use them in protests throughout the rest of the year. “The vaginas are receiving some wear and tear, we are using them so much,” Barry said. “But all told I think they are holding up quite well.”

For video of Berry explaining, in more depth, how those vagina costumes got made, head over to Current. You know you wanna.

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Photos: Jo Piazza

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