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Nude charity calendars: had enough yet?

 

Another week, another nude charity calendar. Bright young internet entrepreneurs are the latest to strike
coy poses for the London Nude
Tech 2010
  to raise cash for education charity Take Heart India.

 

Will anyone buy it?

 

Yes, according to the charity’s spokesman Lucian Tarnowski: the calendar is fully expected to raise its
target of £40,000, with production costs covered by sponsors and volunteers. He’s likely to be proved right, given that it’s a sleek,
professional product on sale exclusively through geeks’ favourite online
emporium Firebox.com.

 

But the entrepreneurs jostle for position with army
wives
; a
Welsh male voice choir
; barmaids
from Gravesend
; the list goes on. Charity nude calendars are ubiquitous.

 

As everybody has heard once too often, they take their
cue from 1999’s Calendar Girls
of the Yorkshire WI, and you can see why they do it. Guaranteed coverage for
the ‘volunteers’, and usually the cause gets a quick mention. London Nude Tech made
the Telegraph website’s front page.

 

But how valuable is such press coverage to charities? The vast
majority are amateur affairs, of varying quality and made
without the charity’s knowledge or involvement.

 

And things can go wrong. According to this
report
, Scottish Women’s Aid
found itself fielding criticism when it turned down £600 offered by a group of
women – some of whom had experienced domestic violence – who had posed for a
calendar. There was a row: the women were upset when the charity said
the cash would compromise its feminist principles.

 

“We’re not commenting on that any more,” says a
brisk-sounding spokeswoman. “It took up
enough of our time.”

 

Regardless of whether you think Scottish Women’s Aid was right or wrong, you can see what she means. Nude charity calendars might have been amusing and original ten years ago. They may even be well-meaning.

 

But in 2009 aren’t the knowing winks,
strategically positioned props and semi-professional photography becoming lazy and tired?

 

 

 

 

 

  • T T

    I agree that charity calendars may often be quite bland, having unfit average joe models taken by a poor photographer in shady lighting.

    Still, modeling for charity calendars is for a good cause after all, and if carried out whole-heartedly and a bit more professionally there’s much to gain. I’m doing charity model shoots myself, and it’s more like real world modeling in both ends. There’s a more traditional fitness requirement (somewhat muscular, toned/ripped and chiseled abs, nice skin tone etc.), the photos are shot by a professional woman in proper lighting conditions. Effort is also put in to post-work with photoshopping and making the models “glow”.

    While my organizer has occasionally been criticized for for using “overly clad” models, her position is that you should be able to make requirements and expect quality even for volunteer models. And the results speak for themselves, raising more than three times the amount than before the male volunteer model calendar was professionalised.