A topless woman – with strategically placed splashes of body paint – brought her topless 2-year-old daughter to Times Square as she panhandled her way along New York City’s busy tourist crossroad.
The painted mother is one of the so-called "desnudas," the naked or semi-naked women covered in body paint – most of them Latinos – who have been embroiled in a showdown against Mayor Bill de Blasio who is determined to prevent them from exposing themselves in the city’s most crowded streets.
According to the New York Post, Maria Diaz arrived on Broadway with her daughter at about 4 p.m. wearing a black skirt and painted black hearts covering her breasts. Her daughter was seen wearing a similar black skirt, with the same painting on her chest.
The mother was trying to solicit tips as mother and daughter held cut-out N and Y letters.
Moments later an NYPD officer showed up and, according to one witness, told the woman, “You can’t have this girl here. You going to get arrested.”
The scene was enough to not only outrage nearby tourists but also a fellow street performer, who poses for tourist photos dressed as Batman in exchange for tips. José Escalona-Martinez posted a recording of the mother-daughter duo on YouTube. “Everyone was like, “What the hell is this?” he told the New York Post.
Dumbfounded tourists expressed their shock to the New York Daily News.
“That’s disgusting,” Spencer Jones, a 31 year old tourist from Maryland said. “A mother should have better judgment than to do that to the kid ... who knows what someone could have done.”
The desnudas are a controversial topic in the city. Last Saturday a woman insulted and attacked one of the desnudas.
While nudity is not illegal in New York City, De Blasio has started a task force to come up with a plan to reel in the topless women who, in his estimation, are harming the tourist friendly Times Square image with what he deems their indecent exposure.
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