Adult fundraising should be celebrated, not shamed

Virginia Holtzclaw, Features Writer

Almost 15 million acres of land have been charred. Over 24 people have died. An estimated half a billion animals have perished, and the air quality in Sydney is over ten times the hazardous” level as a result of the current Australian bushfires. 

What many people also likely have heard about are the massive donation effort currently underway. Celebrities and ordinary people alike have all rallied to donate money to Australia. Several million dollars has been donated to firefighters, animal conservation groups, and the Australian Red Cross. 

There have been a great many stories about donations, ranging from heart-warming to disappointing. A six-year-old raised over $100,000 by making and selling clay koalas. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos donated $690,000. While that sounds like a lot, Business Insider calculated that Bezos earned approximately that amount every five minutes in 2018, which has led to much criticism 

However, one unconventional form of fundraising has surprisingly gone viral. Selling nude photos. 

Los Angeles based model Kaylen Ward went viral for offering nude photos in exchange for charitable donations. In a tweet that now has over 90,000 retweets, Ward offered one nude picture for proof of a $10 donation to a charitable organization that would benefit those affected by the Australian wildfires. She hoped to raise a couple thousand dollars. Currently, Ward estimates she has raised about $1 million but acknowledges that it can’t be verified. 

Ward’s success has inspired many other models and sex workers to offer the same thing. Some have only been able to raise a couple thousand dollars, but still the amount of success is remarkable. The reception of these good deeds is also remarkable. While there some people can focus on are Ward’s methods, the has been an overall positive reception of her efforts. 

While sex work is a legitimate profession, it has long been a taboo subject. Ward’s efforts, though generally viewed positive, have seen the blowback of that. People have tried to use fake receipts to get the nude photos and have spread them for free. Despite the fact that Ward was selling her own on Twitter, all three of her Instagram accounts were shut down. On top of that, Ward alleges her parents disowned her. Despite this she continues to encourage her followers to donate. 

The large positive reception has coined phrases like “not all heroes wear clothes” and the social media hashtag #nakedforaustralia. Ward has taken to calling herself “The Naked Philanthropist” and has gained over a hundred thousand Twitter followers. Her actions have even generated a petition on for Ward to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Kaylen Ward is not the first woman to sell nudes. She will not be the last. More well-known people have done it and will do it in the future. She isn’t selling naked photos for personal gain, but to help an extremely important cause. Let’s also not forget that while Kaylen Ward is being slut shamed, the people who purchased her nudes have been virtually left alone. 

What an adult woman does with her own nude photos is no one else’s business. Whether she is selling them for money, releasing them online, or trying to help a country that is on fire, it is still no one else’s business. The world would be a kinder place if people could accept that. 

Ward has recently announced that she will use the same approach to raise money for the Puerto Rico earthquakes. Instead of slut-shaming or trying to take advantage of people like her, their efforts should be applauded. They have tried to do some good. We don’t need to ruin that