Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

And heartfelt apologies to the reporters who've tried to contact me during the slow news week between Christmas and New Year's. I would have been delighted to offer a comment or two on the 2007 crop of calendars, but real life intervened and prevented me from returning any calls. I'm very flattered that you thought of me.

I'll offer a couple of observations here; Perhaps you will find them helpful.

I don't flatter myself that my list is complete, but I suspect it is at least representative. If it is, then there appear to have been fewer such calendars produced this year than in previous years.

It may be that the idea of producing a "nude" calendar had become a fad, fueled by the notoriety of the Rylstone "Calendar Girls" and the motion picture based on their experience. I wouldn't have thought that they had that much international influence, but for several years there was something new each year related to them (the publicity from their original calendar, the announcement of the motion picture deal, the theatrical release of the movie, the release of the second calendar, the movie's home video release). This year, the ladies of Rylstone do have a new calendar, but it's available only locally and features them fully clothed photographed with Prince Charles. That doesn't seem to have piqued the public interest as the earlier calendars did.

But there are still plenty of calendars in release in 2007, including "sequels" from the Men of Long Tom Grange and the Women's Curling Team. This speaks well of the project's potential for success, since organizations that failed with the first one aren't likely to produce a second or third. Search as I may, I haven't found any "horror stories": The vast majority of groups that have published "nude" calendars appear to have raised some money with it... and had fun. Very occasionally, an intended beneficiary may decide they won't accept money raised in such a way, which is certainly their right but strikes me as short-sighted.

I'm intrigued by the comments from professor Peter Rea of Baldwin-Wallace College, in this recent AP article, in which he suggests that in the long term, a charity's resources might be better spent in more conventional philanthropic research, to identify deep-pocket donors committed to the charity's mission. I don't doubt that he's right. But I also think there's a place for this kind of profile-raising project, as well. It has two advantages that Professor Rea's approach doesn't have: One, it can potentially involve larger numbers of volunteers (as models, photographers, or salespeople), and two, it's fun, something which cannot be said of cold-calling potential benefactors to solicit donations.

Look at the faces of the people pictured in these calendars. It's undeniable that they're having the time of their lives. (Who among us wouldn't be flattered by the idea that people would pay money to see us naked?) It also seems to me that the innocent delight depicted in these photographs is a sorely-needed counterpoint to the increasingly-sordid portrayal of sex and nudity in popular media. Everyone should have one of these calendars on their desk.

With the advent of professional-quality digital cameras and the unprecedented ease of self-publishing in the 21st century, it seems likely--if not inevitable--that the phenomenon will continue.

PS--Deep in my archives I did eventually find unhappy endings for Spin and Bare It 2004 and Men of Seminole 2005, each of which lost a significant sum for its sponsor.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Bare Because We Care

And this year's winner of the press coverage jackpot is... the Humane Society of Jefferson County's "Bare Because We Care" 2007. Dinesh Ramde of the Associated Press can be proud that his (her?) sentence following appears on hundreds of major newspapers and television news operations' websites:

Miss December is wearing nothing but a Santa hat and a smile. Oh, and holding one strategically placed cat.

I mean, who can ask for a better lede than that? Congratulations, Denesh. (I suppose, if one works for AP, one must get used to seeing one's words and by-line in outlets worldwide. Little ole me still thinks it's kinda cool.)

Miraculously, the Jefferson County Humane Society's servers haven't collapsed yet.

Even more miraculously, neither have mine. That AP story brought me about ten times my normal traffic, as it tempted people to Google for "nude charity calendar" with their new Christmas computers. (I think I'm in the first page of results for just about any permutation of those words.)

For those of you who are new here, welcome! Glad to see you.

UPDATE: In a story for the 2012 edition, WEAU reports that the 2007 calendar raised $30,000! Wahoo!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Calendar shows 12 faces of Putin

MOSCOW, Russia -- While the West may have Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears, in Russia there is only one calendar star for 2002: President Vladimir Putin.

The large-format calendar, 60cm by 90cm and issued in a limited edition of 1,000 copies, shows Putin looking variably stern, smiling or thoughtful, depending on the month.

One even shows Putin sitting cross-legged in his white judo outfit.
I know it's old news, but c'mon. You know you want to see it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Rotary's 2007 calendar bares all but the X-rated details

Now Gresham [Oregon] has caught on to the naked calendars craze. ...

The Gresham Rotary Club's 2007 calendar features 16 local businessmen and women baring it all -- well, almost all -- in an effort to boost fundraising for high school scholarships. And while the idea rankles some members, the calendars are proving immensely popular. ...

This year, with the help of the $20 calendar, the group hopes to raise its donation to $18,000, and it quickly is closing in on the goal. Rotary officials say 500 of the 1,500 calendars printed a week ago have been distributed.

Rotary President Tom Graves, who poses as Mr. February hiding the middle of his body under a breakfast tray, suggested the idea. Although most Rotarians and the group's board approved the idea, about 20 percent of the 70 members opposed it, Graves said. Some chose not to display or sell the calendar, and one man quit the Rotary Club.
Apparently you can't order it over the web, but if you find yourself in Gresham, pick one up for me.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

"This does not portray safe"

Turns out 'Mr. August' is school superintendent
MANNING, Iowa -- A superintendent who posed as a nearly naked ''Mr. August'' in a charity calendar is rebuffing critics who say it amounts to soft-core porn.

Roger Schmiedeskamp joined other men in appearing in a calendar that will raise money for the Rotary Club.

Schmiedeskamp's image is superimposed on an old schoolhouse room behind a desk. He is shirtless and his legs are bare under the desk.

''A kid is supposed to be safe in the classroom. This does not portray safe,'' parent Kathy Swanson said.

But the school board backs the superintendent.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

"You'll just dig it"

The 2007 Men of Mortuaries™ Calendar is scheduled to be available in October of 2006... Monies raised from the calendar will directly benefit KAMM foundation dedicated to the caring and assistance of people who are going through the treatment of breast cancer.


Gutsy City traders to strip for cancer relief
LONDON (Reuters) - City traders are set to raise eyebrows by posing for a nude calendar to raise money for a cancer charity.

The calendar will feature 12 people posing naked but with their modesty preserved, the KatCanDo charity for colon cancer told Reuters.

KatCanDo, which was set up by Kate Coles in 2004, is still looking for more people to fill the slots.

"It's a very serious attempt to raise money," said Stephen Coles, the husband of the charity's founder. "It will be tastefully done."

Kate Coles was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2003 and died in March 2006.
See also KatCanDo

Saturday, August 05, 2006

They're not naked, but...

I must mention "The Men in Uniform", featuring men, women, and dogs of the Gainesville FL police force. See the Gainesville Sun.

From the newsstand

Sydney Morning Herald | Notorious nude athletes
Louise Dobson
The Olympic Hockeyroo's bum became big news when she posed naked beside … a pear. In 1999, the Shepparton girl decided to help out the local fruit industry as the Australian Pear Industry ambassador and by posing naked. She sat back to the camera next to a pear, and so came the criticism. "Sorry, Louise. Judged as a piece of meat, the guys at work have seen juicier," wrote columnist Andrew Bolt.

EITB24 | Women over 50 challenge beauty stereotype posing for nude calendar
The models said that the calendar, called "Sin fecha de vencimiento" which means women without expiry date, was an attempt to widen the concept of beauty.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Calendar girl website survives attack

A targeted denial-of-service attack from the US failed in its mission over the weekend to shut down an Australian website promoting a controversial calendar showcasing the sexy side of women who work in the IT sector.

The Screen Goddess calendar was created by IT industry worker Sonja Bernhardt to tempt more women into technology-related careers. However, it met a storm of controversy last week because some of its "models" appeared partially clad.
Story from The Age.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Geek goddesses or calendar girls?

Sydney Morning Herald
Female IT professionals have posed for a provocative calendar to try and shake off their industry's geeky image and encourage young women to consider a computing career.

Gold Coast-based IT doyen Sonja Bernhardt said the motivation for the calendar was the rapidly declining number of women taking up computer studies and careers.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

If only she'd published a calendar

BBC | Artist gets naked to earn bread
An artist who baked a life-size model of her own naked body out of bread dough will watch her audience eat it at an exhibition.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Administrative note

Just letting you know that if the main site disappears for a few days between now and the first of the month, it's because that wave of interest in the Olympic curlers' calendar generated by Playboy caused my daily traffic to spike up to ten times its normal level. That's 100,000 views this far.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

It's the New Year...

Sixteen years ago, firefighter Manuel Chavez was casting around for ideas to raise money for the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 341's Houston Fire Fighters' Burned and Crippled Children's Fund.

"I thought about a calendar," he said, "you know, maybe nice pictures of fire stations or big trucks." He ran the idea by a lot of people, including women friends and family members.

"They were like ‘who wants to see that? We want to see the firefighters.' So I thought, why not?"

Additions and Updates

League of Their Own
Austin Firefighters
Houston Fire Fighters
Bonita Springs Firefighters
Firefighters (WA)
Stevenson High School
Oberlin College Women's Rugby
Red Hat Society "Brady Beauties"
Calendar Boys Derry Style
Netball Uncovered
Model Community
Days of Wine and Roses
Hotties of Harm Reduction