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A strip from the waste; GIRLS RECYCLE W.I. NUDE SHOTS.

THIS week members of the Women's Institute shed their stuffy image - and their clothes - by posing nude for a charity calendar (right).

Only a few well-placed props covered their modesty as the ladies were shown indulging in traditional pastimes such as baking and knitting.

But how many ordinary women would be brave enough to bare all? We laid down the challenge to the girls from Bywaters Waste Management And Recycling in London, photographing them with the sepia-tint-with-a-splash-of-colour effect used in the W.I. calendar.

"If the W.I. can do it, so can we," they said. After posing with the odd strategically-positioned rubbish bag and bin lid, they told SHIRAZ LALANI how it felt to strip off for the cameras.

I loved it..whatever my boyfriend says

Laura Welham, 18 from Dagenham, Essex

I WAS looking forward to doing the pictures. The W.I. shots looked great so I didn't need much persuading.

You're not going to get many chances to do something like this. We were in a professional studio and it was a great experience.

I don't care what my boyfriend Ross says - I'll just surprise him. I'm looking forward to seeing the shots myself."

VERDICT: I felt like a real star. It was great fun doing the pictures and I am really pleased with the way they turned out.

My best wishes goes to the Women's Institute ladies who posed because I know how self-conscious you can feel.

It was fun. What is all the fuss about?

Suzanne Clark, 26

from east London

IF the Women's Institute can do it, then anyone can and those pictures were very tasteful. So why not give it a go?

I can't wait to see how they come out. What other chance do you get to have pictures done professionally?

I've only been with my boyfriend for a couple of weeks so I'm not sure how he'll take it. I'm just going to tell him to buy the paper. I think doing something together like this helps office morale. Our firm's very close-knit and our boss was very supportive.

VERDICT: The build-up was worse than actually doing the photo shoot. It was great fun. Once we'd done it I wondered what all the fuss had been about.

I wouldn't pose full frontal, but this isn't sleazy

Victoria Armstrong, 19

from east London

I'VE always wanted to be in the limelight and get all the attention.

I wouldn't pose full-frontal for a million pounds, but pictures like the Women's Institute calendar are really tasteful and nicely done.

I did some pictures for a friend's college portfolio a while ago, but she ruined the film and I didn't get to see the results so I'm really looking forward to seeing these pictures.

And anyway, posing nude is not like marrying a stranger like that couple in Birmingham. That's going a bit too far to get in the limelight.

VERDICT: I was fine once I got into position. I really enjoyed myself.

Because we did it together, it made it much easier.

There's nothing sleazy about posing in the nude. The pictures were very tasteful and nicely done.

My boyfriend Brian doesn't know about this yet but I am sure he will be happy for me and be proud when he shows the pictures to his friends.

It was a buzz. I feel I could do anything now

Charmaine Marks, 26

from Redbridge, Essex

A WEEK ago I never thought I would pose nude but now I feel I can do pretty much anything.

It was a real buzz doing the pictures, probably the most exciting thing I have ever done.

I thought the Women's Institute snaps were great so why not give it a go?

It was an amazing experience and has made me feel even more confident.

I wasn't quite shaking in the studio but I wasn't far off it.

But once we got going I didn't feel at all self-conscious - quite the opposite. There was no reason to be nervous. They are not full frontal pictures and I'm really proud of them.

VERDICT: It was great. I would love to pose again, as long as the pictures were tastefully done, like these were.

My boyfriend Tony will be over the moon when he sees the pictures.

The shots turned out really well. The black and white pictures are very flattering. I'm so glad I didn't let my nerves get the better of me.

Even my mum said the snaps were amusing

Sue George, 32

from Harlow, Essex

MY HUSBAND Graham was all for it when I told him about the pictures.

Mind you we've only been married seven months so I hope after he sees the pictures we still make it to our first anniversary.

I've never posed for photos like these before but Graham and I stripped off on a deserted beach in Kos two years ago.

The pictures of the Women's Institute ladies inspired me to give it a go.

They're all different shapes and sizes but they are still proud of their bodies.

We're all different but I think it's great to show off your body. Even my mum said it was really funny.

All my friends have said they'd love to do it too.

Mind you, I don't know what my husband's biker mates are going to make of it.

VERDICT: I really enjoyed it. I didn't feel self-conscious because I was well covered up.

It was less nerve-wracking than I thought and I'd definitely do it again.

I'm proud of the pictures.
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Lalani, Shiraz
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 17, 1999
Words:926
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