MANILA - Former beauty queen Janine Tugonon has been selected as one of the first calendar models of Nu Muses, a project of Treats magazine founder Steve Shaw and celebrity photographer David Bellemere that aims to celebrate the "uncensored beauty of the naked body."
"I thought I did really bad during the test shoot and final casting since I was having a bad day that day," said the New York-based Tugonon, who finished first runner-up in the Miss Universe 2012 pageant. "But [I] got the call from my agent few days after and it was AMAZING!"
According to the Nu Muses website, Tugonon, along with 11 other models who were picked by a panel of judges and through social media voting, will receive $10,000 each and will be "photographed nude" by Bellemere at an "exclusive location."
The winners will also be "flown to Miami for the VIP launch event at Art Basel covered by major press outlets, featured in the December issue of Treats with the chance to grace the cover of the magazine, and featured in a documentary to be shown on one of the largest TV networks in the USA and distributed worldwide."
Explaining her decision to join the worldwide model search, Tugonon said: "I flew to the US from Philippines with a dream. I wanted to aim higher, to be globally known and excellent in this industry (modeling and acting)."
"Being in this calendar is a huge opportunity to showcase my beauty and personality, a great exposure for me and hopefully will be the beginning of a long lasting successful career in this field I'm very passionate about," she added.
Shaw said that the Nu Muses project with Bellemere will "reestablish 'the nude' as fine art to grace the walls of art galleries and collectors' portfolios."
"We are launching Nu Muses at a time when things are highly censored, and restricted: we have pop culture celebrities flashing body parts to get attention and music lyrics that are overly sexualized, but we need to bring back the female form as classic fine art that is highly celebrated verses gratuitous," Shaw furthered.