Polish housewives strip for calendar to help sick child

Four-year old Julia Koper was born with a mysterious genetic disorder which left her both physically and mentally disabled, requiring a special walker to help her stay upright. But the price for treatment was beyond the reach of her poor parents.

Julia's friends and family decided on a novel way to raise $9,000 needed to help the little girl. They did not go to churches or schools for appeals with their collection boxes but posed nude for a 2011 calendar.

Julia's aunt Ewa Marciniak, 38, told her friends about it and all of them decided that they could help. Consequently, they gave a novel twist to charity and came up with the idea of a nude calendar.

"Of course, we could have made a calendar with flowers and butterflies in it, but nudity sells so we decided to overcome our hesitation in order to raise the money," the aunt said.

Most of the women are above 35 years old. "The calendar is a definition of beauty in its purest form," photographer Katarzyna Ulanska told a newspaper in Lodz, 130 km from the Polish capital Warsaw.

"The women were natural in front of the camera and we settled for 12 shots in total - eleven separate nude photos and a twelfth picture with everyone dressed and posing together," added Ulanska.

"We are just ordinary women. We are not models or superstars who appear on the front page of magazines. But we have created something unique that can outshine many a star," said a proud Marciniak.

The calendar is seeing brisk sales and the women will collect more money than expected. And it isn't surprising if these ordinary housewives become the talk of the town, if not the nation.

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