After three decades of recruiting stars to pose nude and declare, “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur,” PETA is celebrating the demise of the fur trade and calling it a wrap on the iconic ad campaign, which has featured P!nk, Gillian Anderson, Eva Mendes, and dozens of other celebrities.
PETA is announcing the news in advance of New York Fashion Week — during which celebrities have unveiled naked anti-fur ads since the ‘90s — and cites a historic tipping point: "Nearly every top designer has shed fur, California has banned it, Queen Elizabeth II has renounced it, Macy’s is closing its fur salons, and now, the largest fur auction house in North America has filed for bankruptcy," says PETA Senior Vice President Dan Mathews, who conceived the “naked” campaign. “With fur in a downward spiral, PETA will expand our efforts to expose the violent leather and wool trades.”
The 30-year campaign began in 1990, when rock icons The Go-Go’s posed in the buff for a “We’d Rather Go-Go Naked Than Wear Fur” poster, which was sold at the band’s concerts and whose proceeds went to PETA. Soon after, Christy Turlington and Marcus Schenkenberg became the first supermodels in the series. Pamela Anderson, Taraji P. Henson, and Wendy Williams were among those who unveiled their Times Square PETA billboards during Fashion Week. Kim Basinger was among the first to appear in the campaign—and the very latest was her daughter, model Ireland Basinger-Baldwin. For the full gallery, click here.
Among the outspoken feminists who’ve participated are Melissa Etheridge, Kathy Najimy, and Gillian Anderson — who launched her PETA ad on International Women’s Day, stating, “This is my body. It’s mine to do with as I please. And today, I’m using it to stand up for animals and their right to exist as they please — with their skin still attached, naturally. My nakedness also makes a bigger statement. As an actor who is usually unusually modest, suddenly I find myself concerned that modern feminism has too many people confusing sexy with sexist.”
PETA will continue to target fur in different ways — such as the group’s ongoing protests against Canada Goose, which trims its parkas with the fur of wild coyotes who were caught in steel traps — and may still use nude celebrities in other campaigns, such as the one against the leather industry, but with a revised headline, like “I’d Rather Bare Skin Than Wear Skin.”