Would it bother you to know that your young, competent new doctor posed in a sexy burlesque costume when she was in med school?
That’s the question being raised after a photograph of 10 scantily clad female med students from the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec started making the rounds online.
The photo is part of a “Medmoiselles” calendar being sold by the students to raise funds for a multiple sclerosis charity.
“Unprofessional or not?” asks United Kingdom doctor Anne Marie Cunningham in a storify piece she compiled.
Opinions varied, naturally. Some said the images veered close to “lewd” as professional medical associations might define it. Others tempered their critique: claire gordon@beans2er replied to Cunningham: “unprofessional I think. But detrimental or harmful, probably not. Misguided.”
As for any charges of sexism, last year’s calendar – “Calendar Docs” – featured male students baring some skin.
There’s no denying the tactic as an attention-grabbing way to raise money. As the day wore on, the students’ profits rose by hundreds of dollars. At the time of writing this, the running total was $1620.
And maybe it’s no coincidence that the commentary is originating from a source in Great Britain, the land of the naked calendar.
The 2003 film Calendar Girls, featuring Helen Mirren, put the odd trend on the map and clearly set off so many light-bulb moments for other groups looking for a gimmick.
Now, if you don’t have your 2014 calendar shopping done and you count yourself as an anglophile, you could spend the year gazing at foxy fox hunters, hunky marines, and/or cheeky rowers. (I’ll let you find those on your own time.)
But Canadians are doing their best to catch up. In addition to the bevy of Quebec med students, a dozen Canadian authors – men and women – have dropped trou for a 2014 calendar to raise money for PEN.
In an interview with the National Post about her idea to create the calendar, author Amanda Leduc said:
“It’s a risky venture,” she says. “A naked calendar isn’t something that you see everyday.”
Well, maybe not every day of every calendar year. Yet. But as one commenter on the Post story put it, “At this point, a calendar with people actually wearing clothes is the more novel idea.”
Follow me at: @TraleePearce