(TMU) — As Australia’s bushfire crisis continues to rage, devastating people and wildlife alike, some women have stepped forward with a winning idea: extinguish the fires with nude photos.
A number of women—including models, porn stars, and even sex workers—are spearheading a trend of sending nude photos to anyone who can prove that they’ve donated money to fire relief efforts in Australia.
This wave of erotic photos being used for an important cause was kicked off by Kaylen Ward, a 20-year-old model from Los Angeles who calls herself “The Naked Philanthropist.” Over the weekend, she shot to fame after announcing on Friday via Twitter that she would send a nude photo to anyone who offered proof that they had donated at least $10 to charities connected to the Australian bushfire crisis such as the New South Wales Rural Fire Service and the Australian Red Cross.
She told BuzzFeed News:
“I was seeing all the posts on Twitter about the Australian fires and I was really concerned there wasn’t a lot of media coverage and not a lot of people donating.”
Her campaign was a major success, with her Twitter DMs quickly flooding with messages to such an extent that she had to hire a team of four people to sift through them and verify which donations were legitimate. By Monday, she had raised about $700,000. On Tuesday, she claimed that the figure was fast approaching $1 million.
And while Ward said that her campaign has resulted in her being disowned by her family, dumped by a crush, and deactivated by Instagram, she’s keeping a positive attitude because “fuck it, save the koalas.”
And now, others, including those in the online sex industry, are following her example and stepping forward to contribute nudes to the cause. This has included popular porn stars like Riley Reid and models with huge social media followings like Jenna Lee and Lena the Plug.
— Jenna Lee (@TheJennaLee_) January 6, 2020
For Lee, 30, Ward’s idea not only taps into major viral potential to raise donations through nudes—but it was also a surefire formula for fundraising success. She told VICE:
“Before I started my campaign, I went through the pros and cons before I moved forward—cons being potentially getting my account deleted or trolls using my images for blackmail.
I determined the climate and Australia are in such need that it was worth the repercussions.”
In a separate interview, she told National Post:
“We’re all real people with good hearts, so I just knew that this was going to blow up.
And it being totally in my realm of capabilities, I think it would have been a disservice not to do it.”
Since kicking off her own campaign on Saturday, Lee claims to have raised $40,000.
If you can’t donate $20 send me a screenshot of your donation (whatever amount, but at least $1) and I will send you a nude photo. ❤️
— LTP (@lenatheplug) January 5, 2020
Australia is currently struggling amid the worst fire season in the nation’s history, with at least 25 people killed and 2,000 homes destroyed.
At least 12.35 million acres of land have burned so far, according to officials. Over the weekend, an estimated 25,000 additional koalas burned to death when the fire extended to Kangaroo Island, potentially wiping out entire rare and endangered species.
While Ward deserves credit for helping sexy philanthropy go viral, Australia’s own sex workers have been using a similar strategy since last month to direct attention to the fires and assist firefighting efforts. Using the hashtag #HoesAgainstScoMo, they have voiced their anger at beleaguered Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
For Ward, it comes as no surprise that her campaign has inspired copycats across the sex industry. She said:
“I hate to say it, but sex sells. To produce it is free and it’s instant. It’s instant gratification.”
I saw first hand how horrid the #AustraliaFires are. People & animals are dying & losing their homes. Please help spread awareness & donate.
Email me proof of donation & I’ll send you personal photos &/or videos.https://t.co/h7E1GCkV0k
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org pic.twitter.com/eiXR5eCZH7
— Riley Reid (@rileyreidx3) January 6, 2020
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