A charity organization in the UK has decided to bare all in order to raise awareness of people living with colostomy bags. Purple Wings is a charity that awards grants to people who have recently had to transition to using the bags, often after coping with serious health issues that have required major surgeries and medical intervention. Most people who have never had to use a bag don’t know what it entails, and that creates a sense of shame and stigma around the practice. The grants offer people a chance to take time off to adjust and even have a few special outings to enjoy life again.
It makes sense that their calendar is all about celebrating bodies with colostomy bags. The group is releasing their second calendar this year to raise money, and all the models have bags.
Metro reports that the 14 women between the ages of 20 and 53 all willing got down to their underwear for charity, showing off their bods and bags to show they can still feel and look sexy.
To celebrate the @pw_charity ball that took place last weekend, @crohnsfighting has written all about her time embracing body positivity at their calendar shoot earlier this year 💜— Pelican Healthcare (@PelicanHealth) August 9, 2019
Read here: https://t.co/r28KLzR46d#stomalife #bodypositivity pic.twitter.com/nSmbimbGqA
Founder Lauren Henderson said, “We wanted to do something completely different to everyone else and give people the chance to look and feel glamorous with their colostomy bags,” but admits that “at first, I was nervous because I didn’t think people were going to actually do it.”
But all the women involved were thrilled to participate.
Julie, who is posing for the month of April, has recently recovered from two tumors and colitis, says the organization made a huge impact on her after she got her stoma.
“I questioned everything, then Purple Wings entered my life via a new friend, and slowly I began to start a newfound journey,” said Julie. “The calendar shoot made me come away emotionally and mentally a new person, with the added bonus of some amazing new-found friends and best of all my daughter was there to share this experience with me.”
Annie was still recovering when she joined the photo shoot:
“I was six weeks post-op when I did the calendar shoot, it was worth the pain for such a good cause and the opportunity to meet some truly fabulous fierce queens! “It was just what I needed to make me feel sexy again.”
News flash! The very unique 2020 calendar is in demand! We have decided to launch them at the AFTERNOON EXHIBITION at...Posted by Purple Wings Charity on Wednesday, July 31, 2019
While the event is primarily for raising awareness and giving the women involved a chance to reclaim their bodies, Henderson says they did have a funny run-in with someone who didn’t even understand what he was looking at.
“The best reaction we’ve got from the calendar was from a young guy who didn’t even notice the bags on the ladies and said, ‘Is that it?’—that’s the whole point of the calendar,” she said. “We want to educate those without stomas with the calendar and gives those with one a confidence boost, especially the models.”
Seems like it’s working for everybody.