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


But the entrepreneurs jostle for position with army
; 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
, 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?