Saturday 24 March 2018

By all means, raise money for charity - just keep your clothes on

Surely there are other, equally effective, ways to fundraise for
charities apart from naked calendars?
Surely there are other, equally effective, ways to fundraise for charities apart from naked calendars?

Lorraine Courtney

Yes, 'tis the season for naked calendars and, more specifically, for naked charity calendars. When the members of Rylstone and District Women's Institute first stripped off for their nude calendar back in 1999, they unknowingly spawned a brand new fundraising genre and collected £2m for cancer research. Sixteen years later, we have abandoned the things that made the original so great and opted for a million pale imitations. The Women's Institute has spawned a very ugly monster.

Here in Ireland, the 2016 UCDSU Skydive Naked Calendar is part of an effort to raise €100,000 for Youth Suicide Prevention Ireland. It features UCD students in the nip, apart from some strategically placed helmets. Now UCD Students' Union has acknowledged that the calendar is a little bit risqué, but said that it wanted to do something that grabbed people's attention in order to raise funds for Youth Suicide Prevention Ireland. "We've been accused of being off-message but all our ideas are run by YSPI and they agree with our methods," it said. "We want to draw attention to what we're doing. We need attention to get this much money together. Charities like YSPI have a real need for resources, which aren't being provided by Government."

So is it all just a joke that I don't get? For four decades, Page 3 was treated a bit like a benign comedy show, too. Critics were attacked for being envious, petty party poopers who just wanted to spoil the fun because they'd never look as good naked as Jessica (21) from Liverpool. But we've all clearly had enough of seeing women naked everywhere we look. At the beginning of the year, the UK's No More Page 3 campaign had collected a petition with 215,000 signatures. 'The Sun' pulled Page 3 and Rupert Murdoch even tweeted that the feature was "old-fashioned."

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