UCD Students’ Union is to produce a nude calendar for 2010, with profits from the sales to be donated to the Irish Cancer Society. Several volunteers have put themselves forward to pose naked for a number of photographs that will appear within the publication. SU Welfare Officer Scott Ahearn, told The University Observer that “there is a mixture of UCD students taking part – from members of the ladies’ hockey team, SU officers, and other students not affiliated to a UCD organisation.” Well known fashion photographer Lili Forberg has been arranged to work on the project.
Ahearn said that the idea of the calendar “was floated during the summer”, and was keen to emphasise that the focus will be on real people and their bodies, adding that “the emphasis is on ordinary, everyday students participating, both male and female, with many different body types.” This sentiment was welcomed by some students, with first year Arts student Emma Gorman saying that “there’s so much hype over body image that maybe it would be good to see different body types and different body sizes rather than just supermodels.”
Ahearn was also keen to distance himself and the SU from recent postering scandals, emphasising that “this project doesn’t fall into the ongoing debate about inappropriate posters on campus.” He elaborated that the SU were keen to avoid offence, and intend to take measures to prevent it, saying that “students have the choice whether or not to purchase it, they have the choice whether or not they want to see body images of UCD students – the body images won’t be forced upon them, as with the ongoing posters issue. There will be no images on the front cover of the calendar either.”
The project has met with mixed response from students. First year Arts student Ann Marie Lynch congratulated anyone who is “confident enough with their body” to take part in such a project. Others are unconvinced of the project’s merits; first year Arts student Louise Battrim questioned the need for a nude calendar, asking who exactly was meant to benefit from the calendar. Battrim also felt that the SU could use less provocative means for fundraising.
Ahern expects the calendars to be available by late November or early December. The number to be printed, and the eventual purchase price, have yet to be determined.