Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

A British model says her image was used in a Spanish campaign promoting body positivity without her permission.

The equality ministry’s advert was praised for featuring diverse women of different shapes and sizes relaxing on a beach.

But Nyome Nicholas-Williams, from London, says a photo from her Instagram feed was used without her knowledge.

The artist behind the image has apologised to Nyome, but she’s not yet heard from the Spanish government.

Nyome, 30, tells BBC Newsbeat an image from her social media feed was adapted for the poster released by the Institute for Women earlier this week.

It features an illustration of five women – including one who has had a mastectomy – on a beach underneath the slogan “summer is ours too”.

‘Rude and disrespectful’
Nyome wears a gold bikini in the image, and can be seen sitting on the sand, with her head turned towards the viewer.

She says one of her 78,000 followers alerted her after the campaign was widely reported by the world’s media.

“I was really taken aback because I had never seen it before,” Nyome says.

“It isn’t a stock photo, it’s a picture that I’ve taken on my Instagram.

“It’s rude and it’s disrespectful.”

A comparison of Nyome’s picture and the Spanish poster
IMAGE SOURCE,NYOME NICHOLAS-WILLIAMS
Image caption,
Nyome says her photo (right) was used as the basis for the Spanish illustration
After posting a complaint about it on her account, she was contacted by the illustrator who created the final poster in messages seen by the BBC.

“They said they used my image because they were running low on time,” she says, adding that they apologised and “said they’d compensate me”.

“I feel it’s very reactive rather than proactive,” she says. “I’m annoyed because if they’d asked me in the beginning, I could have made a decision, I probably would have said yes”.

Nyome finds it “very ironic and wild” that the Women’s Institute failed to get consent from her to use her image.

“They should know better,” she says.

Nyome Nicholas-Williams
IMAGE SOURCE,NYOME NICHOLAS-WILLIAMS
Image caption,
Nyome says she has experienced unauthorised use of her pictures before
Nyome says she doesn’t know the other women in the poster or whether they were asked to give their consent, but she hopes that the woman shown with a mastectomy was asked and ” would be happy to have that image our there like that”.

She says her pictures have been copied before, and in 2020 she had a battle with a different illustrator who used her image on phone cases, bags and mugs.

“And I had no idea about it,” she says.

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Nyome thinks “people feel like they can get away with it” as she’s a model and posts images publicly.

“I understand I’m a model, and yes I do post [pictures] in my underwear, but that’s still my body,” she says.