Spanish body positivity campaign Summer is ours raised her eyebrows after it was revealed that one of the artists had used images and text that she did not have permission to use.
The Women’s Institute, an organization under the Spanish Ministry of Equality, commissioned ArteMapache to create a poster for the launch of their summer campaign, which aims to encourage women of all sizes to be proud of their beach bodies.
Reaction to the launch was generally positive on Wednesday, with Twitter users praising the message behind the poster.
“Love this new campaign in Spain! I still have a hard time forgetting those “beach body ready” posters in a tube a few years ago. It would be nice to replace them in my head with this,” one Twitter user said, adding #Summerisourstoo.
However, just one day later, the artist was forced to apologize after it was revealed that the source of her images and typeface had been taken from at least two models and a graphic designer without permission or agreed payment.
ArteMapache said: “First of all, I would like to publicly apologize to the models for being inspired by their photos for the ‘Summer Is Ours Campaign’ and for using an unlicensed font -[thinking it was free].”
She added that the fairest way forward would be to “share the benefits of this work equally” and that she always looked to models for “inspiration”.
One of those featured in the poster is British activist and “influential model” Njomé Nicholas-Williams, who said she didn’t know her image was used in the campaign until followers noticed it.
Nicholas-Williams told Euronews she was “shocked” and “saddened” to find that her photos had been used, but this is not the first time someone has taken pictures of her without asking.
“Why is this going on,” she said. “This is the second time, and it could have been avoided if [a] It was a simple conversation.”
The model’s face was also superimposed on someone’s body, which Nicholas-Williams described as “unpleasant”, saying it “takes away what [the campaigners] tried to do it in the first place.
When the poster was originally released, the Ministry of Equality said on its official Twitter account that the campaign was against “aesthetic violence”.
However, one Twitter user drew attention to the irony of the ministry’s statement, saying, “Summer belongs to us too. What is not so important to us is the rights to the image of women that we put on the poster. No aesthetic violence on these bodies. but quite a bit of economic violence.”
The Women’s Institute responded to the controversy on Twitter, thanking ArteMapache for “admitting a mistake” and “opening up to listen to women involved in the fight against fatphobia and racism.”
Niome Nicholas-Williams says she has compassion for the artist because “we all make mistakes,” but she should have discussed the use of her image before it was published.
The model, however, said she was dismayed that she still hadn’t heard directly from the Women’s Institute or received an official apology from the campaign team.