Kaylen Ward is the Los Angeles-based model and online sex worker attracting worldwide headlines for how she decided to help combat the devastating wildfires that are ravaging Australia.
Ward offered to trade nude photographs of herself in exchange for donations of at least $10 to various charities and government agencies in Australia, such as the Red Cross, the NSW Office of Emergency Management, and the Country Fire Authority.
Ward first posted the offer to Twitter on January 3. She is not accepting the money herself. Instead, she is asking participants to send evidence of their donation in exchange for a photo, such as by sending a screengrab of the transaction.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Kaylen Ward Says Her Campaign Has Generated More Than $1 Million In Donations
Ward says her campaign has generated more than $1 million in donations to the various government agencies fighting the wildfires in Australia, as well as those working to help the thousands of people forced to flee from their homes. She says that the amount was raised in just about three days.
Ward wrote on Twitter just after midnight on January 7, “I raised $1mil for Australia at the sake of my naked body being exposed on the internet to millions and millions of people. That’s a scary feeling to be that vulnerable and exposed to the world. But I did it because I wanted to do something good.”
Ward says she had to bring on a team of people to help sift through all of the messages and that the donations were “still flowing in like crazy.”
She has also expressed frustration with some commenters who accused her of starting the campaign as a way to get attention for her website. Ward pushed back, pointing out that she did not earn any proceeds from the campaign for Australia. But she also explained that if her website received attention, then that was a positive bonus. She tweeted, “if I want to promote MY only fans on MY platform I sure as f*ck will. This was my platform before I raised the money and it will continue to be how I make money.”
2. Ward Said She Was Inspired to Raise Money Because She Felt the Australia Wildfires Were Not Receiving Enough International Attention
Kaylen Ward told the Australian news outlet “10 Daily” that she felt that the tragedy of the bushfires was not receiving enough worldwide attention. “I saw so much media coverage about other things happening in the world, like when Notre Dame burned down and lots of people were posting and donating, but I didn’t see a lot of people doing that for Australia. For the Australian fires to be impacting such a large area, a whole continent, and for not a lot of people to be talking about it internationally, was really concerning to me.” Heavy has reached out to Ward for further comment.
Ward already charges customers for naked photos of herself. Her professional website is dedicated to that service. She decided that it would be a good idea to use this strategy to raise money for charity as well.
Ward said she was confident that past customers would respond to her post and hoped that she would raise at least $1,000. Ward says she was surprised that the online campaign exploded in the way that it did.
Most of the online reaction has been positive. For example, the account @witchytwitchytv wrote, “A woman @lilearthangelk raised $100k in a day for charity by sending nudes to people who had proof of donating to the Aussie wildfires and all I gotta say is not all heroes wear clothes.” The following embedded tweets are ones that Ward retweeted.
3. Instagram Suspended Kaylen Ward’s Account For Posting ‘Sexually Suggestive Content’
Kaylen Ward’s campaign was taking place on Twitter, but the news spread to her Instagram account as well. Her primary account was suspended, and she created a second one with the name “Naked Philanthropist.” The second page, however, was suspended as well. Fake accounts have popped up since then, and Ward warned her Twitter followers that none of those profiles are real.
Instagram has strict guidelines about nudity on the platform. The Community Guidelines includes the following language on naked posts:
“We know that there are times when people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons, we don’t allow nudity on Instagram. This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too.”
Ward says she received a message from Instagram that clarified that her account had been suspended on January 4 for sharing “sexually suggestive content.”
4. Ward: ‘My Family Disowned Me’
Kaylen Ward is originally from Texas and is now based in Los Angeles. She shared on Twitter that some of the people closest to her have not been as supportive of her campaign as she would have hoped.
Ward wrote, “My IG got deactivated, my family disowned me, and the guy I like won’t talk to me all because of that tweet. But f*ck it, save the koalas.”
She also wrote in an earlier tweet, “I hope the love of my life finds me one day and is like ‘omg you’re that girl that sent her nudes and raised $1 million dollars for Australia.'”
5. More Than 12 Million Acres Have Burned Across Australia
The skies over parts of Australia have been a consistent shade of orange as the wildfires spread across the continent. The flames have burned more than 12 million acres. For comparison, that is comparable to an area twice the size of the state of Maryland. It’s estimated that more than 1,400 homes have been destroyed. At least 23 people have lost their lives. The fire is most severely impacting the areas of New South Wales and Victoria.
The impact on wildlife could be catastrophic. Scientists at the University of Sydney have reported that half a billion animals are believed to have been killed since the fires sparked in September of 2019. Many of the threatened animals live only in Australia. The statement from the university read in part:
“The true loss of animal life is likely to be much higher than 480 million. NSW’s wildlife is seriously threatened and under increasing pressure from a range of threats, including land clearing, exotic pests and climate change.
Australia supports a rich and impressive diversity of mammals, with over 300 native species. The continent is uniquely dominated by marsupials and is the only great land mass to contain three major groups of living mammals: marsupials, monotremes (egg-laying platypus and echidna) and placentals. About 244 species, or 81% of this distinctive fauna, are found only in Australia. Some 34 species and subspecies of native mammals have become extinct in Australia over the last 200 years, the highest rate of loss for any region in the world.”
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