Last spring, seven Spanish moms hid their behinds behind accessories for a calendar shoot to support their children’s rural school. Last fall, 100 naked mums took their clothes off and formed the word ‘autism’ for aerial photos in England. Even more famously, British women posed for a discrete nude calendar to support leukemia, which raised a million pounds and their story became the hit movie Calendar Girls.
Celebrities, too, have jumped on the bare-all bandwagon, the most recent exposé coming from model Bianca Embley. Her cause is fibromyalgia (FM), an under-publicized, chronic pain condition with no current cure.
“I wanted to do something that would make an impact,” The sun quoted her as saying. “Even though I am used to having my picture taken, [the nude calendar] was daunting.”
A sufferer of FM since age 32, Embley is keen to raise awareness of the disorder that causes musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and sleep disturbance. She told The Courier, “The pain is literally unbearable. It is like having acid running through your veins. The fatigue can come and go at any time. It is like someone pulls the plug. Yesterday I was crawling up the stairs on my hands and knees.”
“Bianca has been determined to reach a wider audience to raise awareness of fibromyalgia and her calendar is certainly going places we have not reached before,” said a spokesperson for the Fibromyalgia Association. “We applaud her tenacity in producing the calendar and we are sure this is going to be a successful venture. Fibromyalgia is affecting an estimated two per cent of people in the UK, and as yet there are no official guidelines for treatment.”
“At the end of the day I am disabled now,” said Embley. “It’s not a visual disability because if you looked at me, apart from my cane, you wouldn’t notice anything. I just hope we can sell a lot of calendars and raise more awareness. Then this will all have been worthwhile.”