The Spanish body positivity campaign used the model’s Instagram photo without her consent


A Spanish government campaign to promote body positivity has come under fire after a model said it was featured without her consent.

The image, depicting five women with different body shapes on a beach with the words “Summer is also ours”, was posted on social media on Wednesday.

The aim was to celebrate body diversity and “the right of all women to enjoy public spaces”, the government said.

“All bodies are beach bodies” tweeted Social Services Minister Ione Belarra after the campaign launch, while another minister commented“All bodies are valid and we have the right to enjoy life as we are, without guilt or shame. Summer is for everyone!

The problem, says one of the women who appears in the illustration, is that she did not consent to her image being used.

British model Nyome Nicholas-Williams said the photo was taken from her Instagram feed and she was not contacted by the Spanish government or the artist before the campaign was launched.

“I think it shows that women’s bodies — especially black women — are so controlled and that our bodies as women are not ours,” she told the Post, noting that a follower Instagram first alerted her to the campaign.

“It’s a very positive campaign, but why wasn’t I approached and asked?” she says.

Nicholas-Williams said she was unable to contact the other women featured in the campaign and was unsure whether they had been paid or consented to appear.

The artist behind the campaign, Arte Mapache, has apologized to the models involved, writing on Twitter that the illustrator mistakenly thought the image was unlicensed and free to use. The artist offered to split the 4,490 euros (nearly $4,560) paid for the image and would work to “repair the damage done…and try to resolve this matter privately with the parties involved.”

Women’s Institute of Spain rented the artist’s response: “Thank you for your anti-fatphobia activism, for acknowledging the illustration error and for listening to the women involved in the fight against fatphobia and racism.”

Nicholas-Williams said her agent has been in contact with the artist but has yet to receive any communication from government agencies involved in the campaign.

“I think the apologies should come from the people who did the campaign. The illustrator apologized — and I accept her apology, she made a mistake, she’s human. But I think it’s a problem of governments and people who have more power: they just don’t see the error in the things they do.

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