What a Great Cause! Let’s Get Naked For It!

I'm only doing this until Congress raises the minimum wage.
I’m only doing this until Congress raises the minimum wage.
People who’ve met me know that I’m a big fan of naked women. If I had my way every office would be festooned with them. Heck, as far as I’m concerned, there should be random naked women in bars just because. But, until recently, I was pretty sure I didn’t rule the world. But now I’m not so sure. There are a growing number of states looking to follow New York’s fine example and allow women the right to be just as topless as men in public. While it may not always be a good thing, it’s not always a bad thing either. For the ladies reading here today who want to know if they can go around town as God intended, just click here for a fun map of current laws. But, let’s be honest, my horn dog pandering for nekkid flesh can be seen by some as, at best, objectifying women. Yet, for many women, the act of being nude in public is somehow freeing. Never have these conflicting ideas been more apparent than in Robin Thick’s Blurred Lines video. 1/2 the viewers found it to be fun and cute. The other 1/2 thought it was porn. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground there. Me? I thought it was okay, I just still don’t understand the farm animal and banjo references.

Now, getting naked in public can have its uses. If your company sells nude calendars, then offering calendars of naked women makes complete sense. And if you’re a nude model named after an X-Man character, like Mystique, then a nude calendar is just what you need to drum up business. And if your company specializes in vintage burlesque, then a little racy calendar here or there is just the thing to brighten the holidays. And, obvously, if your company is called Beefcake, one for the ladies, then some beefcake is called for.

But if your company is called Hell on Heels, and your models and naked and barefoot, you lose me. The same applies to fans of Hungarian soccer teams.

I mean, you’re just making excuses at that point.

On the other hand England’s Warwick University has elevated nudity to a cause célèbre. Both the male and the female rowers get naked for good causes every year. The men pose against homophobia and the women are firmly against cancer.

Who the hell is pro cancer anyway?

Something tells me that people who like to row boats have a predisposition to getting naked in public. What else could explain the Newcastle University Boat Club’s decision to not only pose naked but dedicate a Facebook page to thier glorious nudity. Why they are all wearing winter boots is left unexplained.

Last November, not to be outdone and because the very nature of their business calls for it, a Polish coffin maker released a nude calendar. So many people were outraged that they did it again for 2013.

Libby Page, at the Guardian UK, seems as conflicted as everyone else when it comes to naked college kids.

I would never tell any woman what they can or can’t do, but I do have problems with nude calendars.

The purpose behind the calendar, to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, is admirable. As is the women’s team’s refusal to let the men’s rowing team steal all the glory with their long-running naked calendar. I wish them every success with the project.

However, there are two groups of people that I think should be addressed when discussing this issue. The first is the large group of women who are tired of yet another reminder that sex sells. Although a naked calendar is undoubtedly a successful way to raise money for charity, are there not other, equally successful ways of raising money, that don’t involve taking your kit off?

For the team, the calendar may have been an empowering, liberating experience. But the flip side of the coin is that for many women looking at the calendar, it is another reminder of the objectification of women. A constant barrage of images that clearly portray women as sexual objects not only damages female self-confidence, it also makes women feel undervalued.

University naked calendars aren’t on a level with the Sun’s Page Three, but viewing 12 pages of naked women for your “pleasure and entertainment” might be seen by some as objectifying these students.

The other group that needs considering are the buyers of the calendar. It’s brilliant for the charity if lots of people buy copies, but it does make me think: why are the calendars being bought?

Of course many will be buying them to support the team and the charity. Nevertheless, there will be some buying the calendar for less than charitable reasons.

If the team are comfortable with that knowledge then that’s credit to them, but it is something that should be considered. Nakedness can be empowering and it can be liberating. But so often it can be turned into objectification.

Yes, Libby, some men who buy the women’s calendar will be waxing the old tent pole. Some men who buy the men’s calendar will be doing the same. Some women who buy the men’s calendar will be fanning the old fur. Some women who buy the women’s calendar will be doing the same. Naked pictures have that effect on people.

That”s why calendars such as Naked College Studs, another one for the ladies, are such solid sellers.

In fact, nude calendars are so popular that the ladies of the Jed Forest Hunt in England posed for one. They offer no reason but they seem to be having fun.

The subset of this, calndars of firefighters barely clad, actually has fan pages. If you manly firemen, just click here to enter the testosterone pantheon. If you prefer your firefighters estrogen enhanced, just click here and we’ve got you covered.

The men are doing it, for the most part, to make money for their respective fire departments. In case you’re wondering where your tax money didn’t go. The women are raising money to help burn victims.

Both worthy causes.

If you Google – when did that become a verb? – for 2013 nude calendar you’ll get everything from the self righteous to the silly to what you would otherwise expect.

And, yes, if you click the silly link you’ll be subjected to fat people who like canyons.

Something for everyone here today.

Of course, you’re asking the most important question there is right now; “What if I don’t have a cause and none of my friends want to get naked? How can I release a nude calendar?”

Fret not, there are tons of reasonably priced generic templates you can add your logo to.

Although it strikes me that only the very lonely or sad would go that route, there it is for you just i case.

One thing is for sure, from Suicide Girls to FEMEN to countless other organizations, don’t even get me started on PETA and its porn channel, more and more are turning to nudity to catch the public’s attention.

Now whether that’s a good thing or not I leave to you.

Simon Bolz Calendar 2013 (NSFW) from Simon Bolz on Vimeo.

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