Naked Waitresses Want to Support The Butterfly Foundation

So some female staff from three Gold Coast restaurants have stripped down to their shirt aprons and trays to feature in a Calendar Girls style publication. They have approached three large charities, Food Aid, the Gold Coast Hospital, and The Butterfly Foundation, to see if they’d like to be involved in marketing the calendar. (From The Courier Mail July 15 2010)

All said no thanks.

It’s the fault, says the naked waitresses’ marketing manager Justine Clarke, of “right wing social commentators” whose negative comments about the project might cause negative publicity for the charities.

Apparently the women’s aim was to “give to the needy”.

From the one thankfully-small colour photo in the local paper, the women are all young, slim and of course naked, bar their tiny aprons. The calendar is clearly about showing a one-sided sexualised aspect of being female. I get that on the Gold Coast you can probably see more naked skin and sexually suggestive images just by walking down any of the golden beaches.

But here’s the mismatch: The Butterfly Foundation is an organisation that works bloody hard to support girls and women (and their families) who are suffering from eating disorders that literally kill thousands of girls and women every year. One of the identified triggers of eating disorders is negative body image fed by sexualised images of women.

How is a calendar made up of images of naked women either appropriate or supportive of the Foundation’s work?

Did they *really* expect The Butterfly Foundation to say yes? Imagine the backlash from the parents of girls who have died from anorexia? Imagine the backlash from women whose lives have been ruled for a decade or more, by the thrall of an eating disorder that they battle every single day, just to have a normal meal?

Imagine the reaction if the Gold Coast Hospital, which probably has an eating disorders unit and whose staff see girls literally dying before their eyes, had pushed a calendar with filled with pictures of naked young women? And what about Food Aid, who provides food to people living in dire poverty?

Their marketing people were all very smart to say no, in my opinion. Is it a “right wing backlash”, or an appropriate response to an irresponsible approach?

Maybe the women who star in the calendar disengaged their brains when they disengaged their bra clips.

Fer God’s sake.

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8 Comments

  1. Clare Masa on July 31, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    To me, after reading this article, it reminds me of high school all over again. Skinny popular girls want to show off how skinny and popular they are, so..”let’s pick a cause and take our shirts of!” It seems like a slap in the face to me. I’ve suffered with bulimia (but thank the Lord, I am recovered) and every day I still struggle with my body. As a matter of fact, I cancelled a tubing trip with my family today because after searching 3 large box stores, I couldn’t find a swim suit for my large body. I think they were right to say no to them. Just another example of some women really and truly just like to rub it in so they can be on top, so to speak.

    • Sandy on August 1, 2010 at 6:44 am

      Clare, I think that’s one way to look at it. The way I’ve been looking at it is that a good number of women see taking their clothes off as a way to fame and fortune, and to get attention. What kind of attention, and how does that help any women to see herself as having value simply because she exists, and not just because she fits an ideal of “sexy” – 1 dimensional woman – it’s a sad thing 🙁

      Thanks for your comment 🙂

  2. britt1 on October 3, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Yes this seems to be a kinda show off they were all kinda slim.

    • Sandy on October 5, 2010 at 4:10 am

      It’s a sad reflection on the status of women in our society that women still trade so heavily on their looks, for success – I think anyway 🙂

  3. britt1 on October 6, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Yes if you look good you can market it. It is a type of wealth,like health and your attitude about things. In some ways gives you an unearned advantage.

    • Britt on October 24, 2010 at 10:28 pm

      In our culture being slim can have a positive effect on a person`s income. I read somewhere that the higher classes are slimmer . Maybe the slender types are more accepted and are promoted. Seems the taller ones are preferred as well.

      • Sandy on October 25, 2010 at 12:11 am

        Britt, you’re quite right! I was reading something the other day about slimmer people, taller people, and more attractive people earning 20% more over their lifetime. That of course is a generalisation – what immediately comes to mind is a rather plain very heavy man in my home state, a multi billionaire. So we can generalise, but there’s always exceptions 🙂 Also, I’m more aware every day that financial success is more about how much of our money we keep (and what we do with it) than how much we earn. Just other things to think about ….

  4. Britt on October 25, 2010 at 12:26 am

    Not sure why it is true but we are on to something. I know someone who is tall and I think people pay attention to them more.

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