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Spanish Government Under Fire For Wrongful Use Of Pictures In Body Positivity Campaign

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A while back, the news was that the Spanish government has started a campaign to dismantle the concept of “beach bodies” and promote healthy body images and self-love. Harmless, right? Evidently, the artist who worked on the campaign is under fire for using images of real women and altering their bodies in the illustrations. 

A few women have come forward to claim they were included in the Spanish government’s latest campaign without their knowledge or consent, which features female bodies in a variety of shapes, sizes, and age groups with the goal of promoting body acceptance and inclusivity on the beach. The aforementioned summer campaign to encourage women to resist stereotypes and aesthetical abuse was launched by Spain’s Equality Ministry last week. This was done in an effort to counteract the social pressure that many women experience in trying to live up to specific beauty standards.

The campaign, which featured images of various body types that should all be allowed to be flaunted on the beach, was initially hailed as progressive and timely. However, when some women, particularly women of colour, came forward and claimed their images had been used in the advertisement without their consent, the situation quickly became problematic.

Also Read: This Spanish Equality Ministry Campaign Flips The Script On ‘Ideal Beach-Ready’ Bodies. Love The Message Of Self-Love!

A cancer survivor and mastectomy patient named Juliet FitzPatrick reportedly claimed that one of the women in the advertisement was modelled after her. The 60-year-old claimed that one of her photographs may have inspired the look of a woman who has had a mastectomy. While FitzPatrick had a double mastectomy, she told the source that the physique in the billboard was not hers because the woman had only had one breast removed. What transpired is utterly against the campaign message. It concerns how my body has been utilised and represented without my consent, in my opinion.

The figure on the poster was likely inspired by one of British photographer Ami Barwell’s prior images of a lady, according to the site. Barwell had previously taken a black and white portrait of FitzPatrick showing off her surgical scars. Barwell said that she thinks the person who created the art had gone through her gallery and stitched things together. However, she thinks she can’t say for sure without confirmation from the artist.

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Arte Mapache who is the campaign’s developer has expressed regret for using these pictures without authorization, but two other women who came forward with similar complaints have denied this. Nyome Nicholas-Williams, a plus-size model, and Sian Green-Lord, whose prosthetic leg was cut out, are two among them.

Nicholas-Williams expressed she won’t be silent about this and was not even sorry in a lengthy social media post. She further compared herself and Sian to Juliet saying that she (as a white woman) got an apology from the Spanish government but they didn’t. She pointed out that they claimed in their statement that they reached out to everyone, yet they hadn’t.

Green-Lord expressed her deep sadness about the circumstance on Instagram as well. She spoke about the image saying that it no longer depicts her having a great time on my friend’s hen and it simply makes her sad. She added that since she learned what was done to her appearance, her confidence has never been lower, and her anxiety has never been higher. Green-Lord asserted that her leg is nothing to be ashamed of and her regular self-motivating strategies are failing her.

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