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‘I spent 35 minutes editing out genitalia’: gung-ho vets strip off for calendar

As a vet student, Jara Mrdja had not necessarily expected life to include spending time editing testicles – human ones – out of photographs.

But she found herself doing just that last week, as well as having to “yell at people to put their clothes back on” as part of a charity naked calendar project involving nearly 100 students at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

Alongside studying for exams next week, Jara has been directing shoots and editing pictures, involving animals from ponies to free-roaming reindeer to felines in a cat café, with the undressed vets.

“I spent 35 minutes editing testicles out of photos the other night – not something I ever thought I’d be doing,” Jara told H&H.

“We’ve also had 14 naked girls chasing a Highland cow out of brambles. It’s all been a bit ridiculous but everyone’s so enthusiastic.”

Jara said the calendar’s creators have been “treading a fine line” with the pictures – and that appearing in them has boosted students’ confidence.

“It’s between not being overly kitsch, with strategically placed objects covering over their bits, and not crude or sexual, but instead really pretty and natural,” she said. “Or as natural as you can be, stark naked in a field on the side of a mountain.

“And everyone’s been so comfortable with it. It’s very funny what happens when you put people naked in public.

“They’re nervous before the first de-robing but as soon as they get their clothes off, it’s mad. The first shoot, I had to yell at them to put their clothes back on!

“And everyone feels so empowered afterwards, and you realise all the things you’re insecure about, everyone’s got them; all the things you think are ugly or should be airbrushed out are all something beautiful.”

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Jara said the aim of the calendar – one of which is produced by the vet school every other year – is to raise money for All4Paws, which offers veterinary care to the pets of people who are homeless or vulnerably housed, in and around Edinburgh.

“Although the clinicians give their time, we have to buy all the equipment and supplies, as well as renting the venues we use,” she said.

“It’s a fantastic charity, which benefits students, to put what they’ve learned into practice, and the community.”

Calendars are available to pre-order now via the “when vets undress” website, where contact details are also available for anyone interested in sponsoring the calendar.

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