A British model has been left “literally shaking” with anger after Spain’s summer campaign encouraging women of all shapes and sizes to hit the beach used her image without permission and edited out her prosthetic leg.
Sian Green-Lord is the second model to complain that her picture was used without her knowledge in a body-positivity promotion called “Summer is ours too”, which was launched on Wednesday by the Women’s Institute – part of Spain’s equality ministry.
Green-Lord appears on the far left of the promotional poster in a swimsuit with floral patterns. However, the original Instagram image posted on her page shows the motivational speaker wearing a white swimsuit and prosthetic leg.
The model, who lost her leg when she was struck by a taxi in 2013, said: “I don’t even know how to even explain the amount of anger that I’m feeling right now… I’m literally shaking, I’m so angry.
“It’s one thing using my image without my permission, but it’s another thing editing my body, my body with my prosthetic leg … I don’t even know what to say but it’s beyond wrong.”
The campaign was launched “as a response to fatphobia, hatred and the questioning of non-normative bodies” and features a poster created by artist Arte Mapache that shows five women of different body types, ages and ethnicities on the beach.
Within days the promotion ran into trouble after British model Nyome Nicholas-Williams said she had no idea her image had been used and only found out about the campaign after being sent a news story of the advert by an Instagram follower.
“It was nice to see the image initially, but then I saw that it was for a campaign and I then felt annoyed as I hadn’t been asked to even be a part of this,” she said.
On Thursday, the controversy forced Mapache to apologise for using the models’ likenesses without their permission.
“Given the – justified – controversy over the image rights in the illustration, I have decided that the best way to make amends for the damages that may have resulted from my actions is to share out the money I received for the work and give equal parts to the people in the poster,” the artist said.
She added that she had never intended to “abuse” the models’ images, and had only sought to demonstrate how great an inspiration they had been.
The artist added that reports that the commission was worth €84,000 (£70,500) were false, and that the fee had been €4,490.
Nicholas-Williams said while it was good to know that she had inspired the artist, she would have appreciated being approached about the use of her image – and being paid for it. A photoshoot in Spain, she added, would have been even better.
The model welcomed the artist’s apology and offer of a share of her fee, but said she would still like to have “a conversation on the importance of consent and asking people to use their images”.