Dec 24 2007 by Mike Chapple, Liverpool Daily Post
nude calendar girl
PHOTOGRAPHER Stephanie De Leng only had 10 minutes for her shoot before she was threatened with prosecution.
But her tasteful work Beauty and the Beach – a 2008 calendar featuring a nude model posing with the iconic Gormley statues at Blundellsands – is proving to be the cult stocking filler for the New Year.
This is despite a number of local shops, including Waterstones, refusing to stock it for fear of causing offence.
“It’s a bit sad because there’s nothing salacious about the work at all – most people love it as a celebration of all things beautiful,” said former top fashion model Ms De Leng, who was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but who made Liverpool her home nearly 20 years ago.
Miss De Leng, who lives near the beach, took the photographs at a chilly 5am last May after enlisting the services of her attractive model Mareike Wagner, a student at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, who is originally from Stavanger in Norway.
“We were only there for about ten minutes before this white Land Rover came racing up and a man got out and told Mareike to get her clothes on as it was against the law to pose naked on a public beach,” said the 50-year-old, who only has 200 copies of the 1,000 limited edition calendar left.
Ms De Leng said she can’t understand why its content has caused problems for some people as the calendar was shrink-wrapped and the actual full frontal poses for June, August and September are not featured among the preview pictures on its back.
“The local Waterstones staff have actually been very supportive, it’s only the buyers who are based down in London who have stopped them from selling it,” explained Miss De Leng, who herself has posed in the past for all the top fashion magazines and was once the “rear” for Gloria Vanderbilt jeans. “No one else was allowed to photograph my bum during that time.
ŠIt was in Times Square on that huge billboard for two years! Never before or since have I had such a huge behind,” she joked, before adding that the calendar had proved to be more popular with women rather than men.
“I think a lot of them identify with the theme of ‘what does a woman have to do to get a man to do something’ which comes across in the photograph for October in which Mareike appears to be begging or pleading with the statue.”
Ms De Leng has managed to find willing takers for the calendar at a number of local outlets including the Tate, News from Nowhere and Rennes in Bold Street, and dot.art in Queen Avenue.
“Even the ice cream man in his van at Blundellsands beach has agreed to stock it!”
A spokesman for Waterstones said: “We made our decision not to stock the calendar because of concerns over the content.”