I was recently contacted by a photographer on behalf of a media production company who wanted to use me as a model in a commercial for a new mobile app. The mobile app is supposedly a service were you can easily donate money for a good cause, for example to The Red Cross, Cancer Foundation and similar. They offered payment of approximately USD 1500.
That sounded quite all right to begin with. I mean, of course I understand that they wanted me to model because of the media attention I’ve received, but if it’s for a good cause I wouldn’t mind to do that. So I asked some follow up questions about how it would be exposed, what the campaign concept was etc. Very soon it became obvious that they had some “bare skin” in mind, and gave the example of recent ad campaign for SEQR, a Swedish mobile payment method.
This specific campaign received media attention in Sweden because they used naked people in ads to promote their app. The tagline reads “The only thing I need is my mobile”. I remember that when I first saw these ads, I was appalled by the fact that companies still use such cheap marketing tricks in 2013.
Needless to say, I declined the offer from the photographer.
If it was for a really good cause, I would actually consider comparing my normal weight, rather thin body to the Swedish mannequins to show how stupid it is to call them “plus size”. But no, I will not model naked to promote a mobile app.
Isn’t it funny though, I’ve received attention because I want to challenge how bodies are portrayed in our public spaces and in media, yet I am asked if I want to be photographed naked for a product that has absolutely nothing to do with that. We still have a long way to go.