Nude Model Solidarity, Italian Style

school_1_600.jpg  I never really thought of nude modelling- not the trashy (and awesome) kind, but the sort in which you pose for art students-as a profession. You show up, you get your kit off, and you make an easy 40 bucks. Or so I've heard.

But, according to the Guardian, not only is Nude Modelling a viable career, it's also a viable career with unions. And the Italian Nude Modelling is mad as hell, and they're not going to take it anymore.

Upset over bad pay and poor working conditions, Italian nude models are now on strike. Said rep Antonella Migliorini:

"Our work is not recognised. We pose for eight hours a day and still the colleges treat us like teaching tools. We do a difficult job, with a great tradition resting on our shoulders, which requires both imagination and great physical concentration."

My first reaction to this was incredulity. I mean, how hard can nude modelling possibly be? Then I started thinking about it. There you are, naked, your cash and prizes out there for everyone to see. You have to sit still for hours at a time.  I have trouble sitting still for three minutes. And, it's probably really, really cold. To top it all off, even nude models lucky enough to have full time contracts only make around $1400 a month. If I were these folks, I would've put on some pants and taken to the streets months ago.

I urge the Italian art education establishment to resolve this dispute as quickly as possible. Not only for the good of the models: if sitcoms have taught me anything (and they have), art classes featuring nude models have ushered numerous adolescent males into adulthood. They're not just educational in the technical sense- they also provide a venue for awkward teens to see boobies under a thin veneer of cultural respectability. And I just don't want to see the youth of Italy go without.

So, Art Colleges of Italy, hear my ply. Up the wages. Install a heater. And get the nude models back in the studio where they belong.

Photo By Jennifer S. Altman for The New York Times.