Opinion || Morality exposed as charity goes to the wall

It’s tempting to believe New Year's is just a holiday created by newsagents who don't want us reusing last year's calendar. 

I usually leave buying my new calendar until New Year’s Day, when the newsagency is shut by the time I get up, so the joke is on them.

But then I go to the newsagency the next day and they’ve sold out of the calendars I like, so the joke is back on me.

I think it’s God’s way of telling me to make “organisation” and “early rising” New Year’s resolutions.

But guess where I write my New Year’s resolutions where I can see them all year round?

On my calendar!

The calendars always available I don’t like, are these nude calendars of ordinary people posing for charity that are taking off in more ways than one.

There’s an old saying “clothes don’t make the man” or “clothes don’t make the person” you’d say today.

It’s true, yet even today, only a small minority of men go for a corporate job interview without wearing a tie. 

If clothes don’t matter, why was what women wore to the Golden Globes recently still so important?

Why are we the only creature on the planet that even wears clothes?

My issue with public nudity stems not from the argument that the body is bad, but rather from the argument that the body is good – so good it’s good to the point of being mysterious.

Like the sun, it has a brightness that damages those who look when they shouldn’t.

The nude charity calendar trend I speak of is where ordinary people strip down for a calendar that will be sold for charity.

If they were young models, posing for profit, many of us would see the obvious exploitation of women for money.

The argument against ordinary people posing partially or fully naked, and for charity, is a little more tricky. 

Classically the way of reminding people lurid photos are exploitation was to appeal to their loving hearts by reminding them “this is someone’s daughter!”.

However, when I saw the cover - and only the cover I promise you and by accident - of these nude charity calendars in the newsagency the other day, I thought to myself “This is someone’s grandmother!... And I think that woman at the back there is someone’s great grandmother!” 

Still, these are only observations, so let me make my argument.

The end does not justify the means. It’s the finest part of humanity that performs charity, but nude calendars sold to the public is still exploitation, even if it’s exploitation to raise money for an important cause. 

Some of these calendars exploit men also, as if exploitation of both sexes is not exploitation and somehow cancel each other out.

The end does not justify the means. It’s the finest part of humanity that performs charity, but nude calendars sold to the public is still exploitation, even if it’s exploitation to raise money for an important cause.

People almost always engage in public nudity willingly at the time. It’s only later that they feel ashamed or admit they were pressured into it.

When a whole university class or work department pose naked for a nude charity calendar I find it hard to believe that zero emotional pressure was applied to those who were a little more reluctant as I’ve seen too much alcohol offered to non-drinkers at staff Christmas parties over the years to think otherwise. 

It’s not immediately obvious, however these nude calendars for charity are unwittingly legitimising the porn industry.

While currently “dirty magazines” are sold in plastic and hidden away by their users, nude charity calendars are by definition up on the wall and for the whole calendar year.

Rather than leer, we should contemplate that the body of a man and a woman is designed not to exploit but designed for each other and to create together possibly the only thing that can be created in this world that is eternal - children.

Even the porn industry has acknowledged that pornography is not good for children.

When a child witnesses an elderly woman happily posing nude in a calendar, that gives public nudity and thus pornography legitimacy and authority in the child’s mind as they are unable at this early stage to demarcate the two.

I wouldn’t call this charity.