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Leeds University equestrian calendar’s racy snaps ‘objectify women’

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Horse riding Leeds University students who stripped off for a fundraising calendar have been accused of “objectifying” themselves – by their own welfare officer.

As reported in the YEP, girls from the university’s Equestrian Society have posed semi-naked for a racy charity calendar in aid of Otley and District Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA).

A similar stunt last year raised £2,000 but caused controversy, with one national television anchor branding the photographs “porn”.

Now Katie Siddall, the university union’s welfare officer, has taken a swipe at her fellow students.

She said: “2013 will see the latest edition of the Equestrian Society’s charity calendar.

“This will mean that their work in the community can continue and more publicity will be raised for the RDA.

“I do, however, think that there are other methods that can be employed to raise awareness and funds without taking off clothing.

“This is because some of the images taken could be seen to be objectifying the women involved.”

Fifteen girls took part in this year’s photoshoot, at the Wilsden Equestrian Centre, in Wilsden, Bradford.

The pictures show them in their underwear in various poses in the stables and with horses.

Charlotte Wright, the society’s club captain, said she respected Miss Siddall’s opinion, but defended the calendar.

She said: “It has been a really effective way of raising money and there are lots of other societies that do exactly the same thing – it’s just that we do it better.

“All the girls who took part were more than happy to do so.”

The student union’s activity officer Ed Elliot said the Equestrian Society had done an “amazing” job of raising money.

He added: “This template has been adopted by many other societies who are increasingly engaging in out-reach programmes in the local community.”

PICTURES: Tim Mellin/www.timmellin.com

 

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