When celebrities go naked for a cause

Video will begin in 5 seconds.

Video settings

What type of connection do you have?

Video settings form
  1. Note: A cookie will be set to keep your preferences.

Video settings

Your video format settings have been saved.

Celebrities get fishy for a cause

A new exhibition called Fishlove aims to raise awareness of overfishing by showing celebrities posing naked with dead sea life.

PT0M0S 620 349

About a week ago, images of Lizzy Jagger astride a tuna began making waves, not so much because she is astride a tuna – funnily enough - but because she is without a stitch on. Naked as a jaybird. Quite apart from the physicality of straddling a fish while nude, this image moves me about as much as Kim Kardashian does. There is nothing I find remotely surprising or interesting about a celebrity stripping for charity any more, including the media's reaction, which was to provide extensive coverage of Lizzy, Lizzy's smooth flank and the gormless looking tuna. I was, however, surprised by the public shock and that it warranted a segment on Australian radio last week.

In the realm of Naked Women Sell Everything this campaign is fairly standard. The main images from the Fishlove, an initiative designed to raise awareness of the dangers of overfishing, ticks all the boxes. And when I say main images, I mean the ones hand-picked by various media outlets. So, the ones with women. They feature good looking women. They feature nude women. They feature boobs, a nipple (and a cuttlefish) and an artfully draped pubic region (with an octopus). They are over-zealously photo-shopped (as all naked women must always be). They are tenuously linked to the cause they are supposed to be about. In the images of men, there is nary a nipple, pubic bone or bottom to be seen. The images of women are sexual, the images of men are a bit cute and mostly from the waist up. And, despite the fact the campaign features men and women, and women over the age of 30, the poster girl for the entire campaign is the young thing straddling something. And tell me, are you surprised? Bored? Maybe even vaguely insulted? But the bigger question is, by seeing these images are you any more aware of the serious environmental cause they are purporting to promote?

Naked women have been selling everything from cars to stationery for years. You know that. You've grown up with it. Executives sat around  boardroom tables after the sexual awakening of the 1960s and quickly realised that 'sex sells' and that naturally escalated in to 'naked women sell.' But for a long time charities were immune to this cheap trick.  Campaigns by PETA in the early 1990s changed all that and since then charities globally have followed suit.

Over the past decade or so we’ve seen Venus Williams strip for The Elton John AIDS Foundation, Victoria Beckham for Skin Cancer Awareness, Milla Jovovich for Clothes Off Our Back  and Sarah Michelle Gellar for the Coalition of Skin Diseases in America to name but a few. Stars without clothes for charities are becoming as ubiquitous as stars without make up for gossip magazines. 

But take, for a minute, Fishlove's nipples, octopus-draping and fish-straddling and compare it to the recent campaign from Animals Australia, Make it Possible. It’s a nudity free campaign, one would assume, because nudity is irrelevant to its core values. Instead they have gone straight to the factory farms themselves.  The voices aren't famous ones, they belong to the animals the campaign is trying help. I challenge you to not be moved by gentle voice of the pig singing about imagined freedom in unison with his fellow factory farm inmates.

 

 

Placed side-by-side it makes the celebrity nude shoots feel even more focused on raising the profile of celebrity rather than the cause.  So which campaign will be more successful? Which one will achieve its goals? Will Lizzy Jagger  save the fish or will a singing pig who grows wings and escapes his factory farm, wake a country up to horrendous animal cruelty? I don't know. But I know which one is already has a bigger impact on me.

 

 

11 comments

  • Definitely worked for me, from now on I'll make sure that all my Canned Dolphin is Tuna Safe (seems Fishy but I wrote that on Porpoise).

    Commenter
    Bob Rhino
    Location
    Westish
    Date and time
    October 29, 2012, 8:24AM
    • A bit like millionaire musicians telling others how much they should give becuase of world poverty. All self interest and a cynical exercise to boost their own publicity...for their next million dollar gig.

      Commenter
      dexxter
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      October 29, 2012, 8:33AM
      • And then Bono, such a "philanthropist", moved his businesses to the Netherlands to as to avoid paying some millions of pounds in tax that would benefit his own community. Ireland isn't in great shape at the moment but he obviously couldn't give a tinker's cuss.

        Commenter
        Red Pony
        Date and time
        October 29, 2012, 11:11AM
      • I love how they give their time for charity by singing/advertising their new song

        Commenter
        Melbournite
        Date and time
        October 29, 2012, 3:15PM
    • This campaign by Fish Love is not dissimilar to the campaigns of PETA that also contain naked, or near naked, celebrities. This campaign in particular raises two issues with me:
      Firstly, propping the animals in between a (would be) naked person's thighs, or laying it down upon someone's breasts is sexualising and objectifying the dead animal - how does this aid the promotion of their message? Are they not merely playing to the public's perception of animals as a commodity?
      Secondly, the use of naked celebrities, in often vulnerable positions, objectifies the celebrities themselves, most of whom are women. Today, women do have 'legal rights' yet the social rights of women are still behind in many sectors of our society (lower pay in some industries, expectation of motherhood etc). So again, how does equating the celebrities to a vulnerable state and objectifying their bodies aid in the message that Fish Love is trying to send? Are they not merely perpetuating the further gross intolerance and objectification of the animals they are trying to help? The Animals Australia ad to 'Make it Possible' is a clear example that compassion, understanding and most importantly awareness is possible without the further mocking the plight of all those involved, animals and humans alike.

      Commenter
      Mango
      Date and time
      October 29, 2012, 8:51AM
      • Good point, Mango. It seems that PETA think it fine to perpetuate degrading and sexualised images of women (such as a naked Pamela Anderson marked up into different cuts of meat) to promote their agenda. And it's one reason that, despite agreeing with some of their campaigns, they will never get a cent of my money or a moment of my time. The RSPCA, WSPA and Voiceless somehow manage to work on similar issues without pandering to celebrity egos or attempting to sex-up their image. Maybe that's why they are taken seriously.

        Commenter
        Red Pony
        Date and time
        October 29, 2012, 11:14AM
    • It says something about our primitive nature if we need naked photoshopped people to convince us of the ethics of sustainable and humane food production. On the subject of sex selling, who does it actually sell to? Men, I would imagine. But women make most of the purchasing decisions, and if we are offended by the use of the female body in this way (which so many of us are) then why aren't we voting with our credit cards and ignoring manufacturers who insult our intelligence in this way?

      Commenter
      Cam
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      October 29, 2012, 9:05AM
      • Cam, I am voting with my credit card - even now, my pantry is overflowing with tuna. And octopus. And other endangered piscids, octopoids and molluscs. The only problem is whether or not I'll ever be able to bring myself to eat the bloody things - the food hygiene implications of eating a fish that may have been stuck in a celebrity's crotch do not bear thinking about.

        Actually, maybe that's the goal of the campaign - 'Don't eat that fish - you don't know where it's been!!'

        Commenter
        andilee
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        October 29, 2012, 12:56PM
    • I suppose I'm not the target audience as I'm already aware of the issue, so I can't judge how people are likely to react to these images. For my part, I find them offensive. Highly groomed naked celebrities posing laughingly with dead animals doesn't strike a note that suggests respect and concern to me. It says "Sea creatures are a commodity! Use them as props for your photo shoots", and yes, it's offensive because the photos ARE about the celebrities.

      Commenter
      BC
      Date and time
      October 29, 2012, 9:49AM
      • I’m so tired of people using tits to sell me something. Doesn't matter if it’s a product or an idea–I’m sick of it. It’s boring, and it’s clearly not something men have to do too. Either put them in their birthday suits along with us, or stop using this ridiculous strategy to catch our interest. (Doubly so if you’re going to Photoshop the women into oblivion–either they’re beautiful enough to see naked, or they’re not. Don’t insult them and us by airbrushing away everything.)

        Commenter
        Mandaray
        Location
        Tennessee, USA
        Date and time
        October 29, 2012, 12:12PM

        More comments

        Comments are now closed