Body positivity ad slammed for removing prosthetic limb
A body positivity campaign has hit a poor note after the models featured claimed they weren't compensated and even photoshopped to remove prosthetic limbs or onto another person's body.
The advert from the Spanish Ministry of Equality was published last week as part of a campaign to promote body positivity during summer at Spanish beaches, with the caption 'Summer is ours too' displayed over an image of diverse women with non-standard bodies.
"Fatphobia, hatred and the questioning of non-normative bodies - particularly those of women, something that's most prevalent in the summertime," the ministry said.
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But, model and activist Sian Green-Lord said she was left "shaken" after friends recognised her in the campaign - despite her not giving permission for her image to be used.
Green-Lord suspects her image was taken from her Instagram page. Her prosthetic leg, which she has had since she was hit by a taxi in 2013 and had her leg amputated, had been edited out.
"I don't even know how to even explain the amount of anger that I'm feeling right now," the UK model told the Guardian.
"I'm literally shaking, I'm so angry."
Con que "el verano tambien es nuestro". Al igual que la imágen y manipulación que le han hecho a Sian Green-Lord sin su permiso pic.twitter.com/zvb0onut0z
— Zikade (@zikade_art) July 31, 2022
She isn't the only one whose image was used or altered without permission.
Nyome Nichols-Williams, a London model and activist who has worked with Green-Lord previously, said the use of her image by the ministry was "downright disrespectful", after she recognised herself in the advert.
"It really is deflating and then on top of that having to fight on my own to get paid," Nichols-Williams said.
"Do I not deserve to be paid for the usage of said image?"
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Juliet Fitzpatrick is the third woman to make the surprising discovery that she was feasted- though only her face seemed to have been used.
Fitzpatrick, who has undergone a double mastectomy, found that her face had been photoshopped onto the body of another woman who had undergone a single mastectomy.
"I have no breasts," she wrote.
"I am furious if the image has been used without my consent."
Australian paralympic swimmer Jessica Smith was among those slamming the advert, saying it was "so wrong and so gross on so many levels".
She criticised those involved for editing the models' images and for failing to ask for permission to use them.
Arte Mapeche, the artist credited with creating the advert for the ministry, was reportedly paid €4,490 ($AUD 6573 or $NZD 7289) to create the image.
She has since reached out to the models whose images she used, as well as a graphic design company whose font she used without licensing, and has issued a public apology.
"I would like to publicly apologise to the models for having been inspired by their photographs for the "Summer is ours too" campaign and for having used an unlicensed typeface," she wrote.
"Given the - justified - controversy over the image rights in the illustration, I have decided that the best way to make amends for the damages that may have resulted from my actions is to share out the money I received for the work and give equal parts to the people in the poster," the artist said.
"I accept my mistakes and that is why I am now trying to repair the damage caused."
Nicholas-Williams said she was happy to have “inspired” the artwork, but said she should have been contacted beforehand and remunerated, while a trip to Spain for a photoshoot would have been a nice extra.
The Spanish government has yet to comment on the matter.
Image: The Ministry of Equality