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Spanish Government Criticised Over Bizarre Disability Edit In Beach Bodies Campaign

Spanish Government Criticised Over Bizarre Disability Edit In Beach Bodies Campaign

Sian Lord said it was one thing to use her image without her permission, but to edit out her prosthetic leg was 'beyond wrong'

The Spanish government has been criticised over a supposedly inclusive beach bodies campaign, having used a number of women’s images without their consent – including one person whose prosthetic leg was even edited out.

The campaign was unveiled earlier this week by the country's Ministry of Equality, with an image depicting women of all ages, sizes and ethnicities enjoying a day at the beach.

“Summer is ours too,” it says. “Enjoy it how, where and with whomever you want.”

The campaign first met backlash when one woman came forward to reveal her image had been used without permission, with London-based model Nyome Nicholas-Williams (@curvynyome) writing on Instagram: "My image is being used by the Spanish government in a campaign but they’ve not used to ask my image or likeness! Great idea but poor execution!"

She added: "This is now the second time this has happened to me! It happened in 2020 when an illustrator used my likeness to sell products. The thing is I’d never say no if it’s for a good cause but come on, ask for my permission. This is so frustrating!"

However, it has now transpired that another woman’s photo was not only used without consent, it was also heavily edited to remove her prosthetic leg from the image. 

Sian Lord (@sianlord_), a model and motivational speaker, took to Instagram to share what had happened, saying she was ‘literally shaking’. 

Sian Lord has shared her 'anger' over the campaign.

“So, I don’t even know how to even explain the amount of anger that I’m feeling right now,” Lord began. 

“It’s just been brought to my attention by one of my friends that the Spanish government are using my image on a ‘body positivity campaign’, but they have edited out my prosthetic leg.” 

Lord said she was ‘so angry’ that she didn’t even know how explain the situation, continuing: ”There’s one thing using my image without my permission, but there’s another thing editing my body – my body, with my prosthetic leg.” 

She added: “It’s beyond wrong.” 

Lord said it was 'beyond wrong'.

Lord then shared the original photo, which showed her lounging on a poolside bed with a drink, proudly flaunting her prosthetic leg.

In the edited image, the prosthetic leg has been completely removed, along with a number of minor alterations such as the pattern on her bathing suit.

Lord's original image.

Lord said she felt ‘completely overwhelmed’ by the love and support she had received after seeing the ‘utter disgusting campaign from the Spanish government’. 

“I feel truly hurt and I’ve not cried like that for a long time, but to think that someone saw my image and thought, ‘Her prosthetic leg ruins that pose... Let’s just get rid of that!’ is shocking!” she said in a later post on Instagram. 

“Again so thankful to everyone and especially to the disabled community #westandtogether.” 

Many people were equally outraged for the women, with one tweeting: "The Spanish Government needs to issue an apology for this. Instead of getting an agency to hire actual models or the people in question here, they employed an artist that used their likeness without permission or even altered it in one case by removing the person's prost. leg..."

Someone else fumed: "@IgualdadGob has stolen the image of models Sian Lord and edited it to replace her prosthetic leg with a real leg. We are talking about a 'body positivity' poster... Apparently this is not part of the fight."

UNILAD has reached out to Ministerio de Igualdad, the Spanish government's Ministry of Equality, for comment.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected] 

Featured Image Credit: @igualdadgob/Twitter/@sianlord_/Instagram

Topics: World News