Outrage in Cheltenham as piercing hits town
Cheltenham, local councillors insist, is no longer a place where retired colonels take tea but a happening town where a tattoo is de rigueur; stud- art, they believe, is the perfect way to "connect" with young voters.
The new image emerged as Cheltenham Borough Council issued a series of posters imploring young people to: "Make your mark, live by your choices, not someone else's. Register now and use your vote."
The most controversial of the posters features a photograph of 19-year- old Naomijo Hughes who sports a pierced nose, eyebrow, chin, cheek and tongue.
"I know Cheltenham used to be known for retired Indian colonels but that has all changed," said John Todman, the council's Conservative leader, said yesterday.
"It is a lively, young people's town and we are using the pictures of Naomijo to show them that the council want them to vote."
The posters have been greeted with less than delight by some of the locals - not least the author Jilly Cooper.
"It is a death wish for the town. It is like Helen of Troy suddenly covering herself in body piercing - she didn't need it and neither does Cheltenham," Ms Cooper, who lives in the nearby village of Bisley, said yesterday.
"Cheltenham is a beautiful, ravishing place. The young pour into Cheltenham looking incredibly glamorous, the flowers are wonderful and the town is just beautiful. This is a ridiculous image that won't appeal to anyone. It is an extraordinary thing to do."
Ms Hughes was discovered in a local body-piercing salon by a photographer who presented her picture to the council officials. They, in turn, decided she would be a perfect way of showing young people exactly what facilities they provide for youngsters. The other two posters picture young people enjoying the town's night life and new skateboard park.
Katherine Gunn, a council spokeswoman, said: "If anyone complained we would take their comments very seriously. I can see that the images are very striking. That is the intention behind them. We are trying to say we understand issues close to their hearts.
"We have body-piercing shops and tattooists in town, that is part of Cheltenham. It is not all Regency buildings and parks.
"Naomijo is expressing herself with the piercings and we would like to make the point that people can also express themselves in the polling booth."
Ms Hughes - who comes from Devon, dropped out of college, and spent pounds 200 on body piercing which her father is not "overly keen" on - has never voted. But she said yesterday: "If there was someone I wanted to vote for, I probably would now."
Her lack of democratic pedigree failed to dent the council's enthusiasm. "Naomijo was picked because of her body piercing rather than her democratic views," the spokeswoman insisted.
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
Nepal earthquake in pictures: Photos show devastation caused by 7.8 magnitude earthquake
Nepal earthquake: More than 1,100 killed across four countries and in Mount Everest avalanche
Royal baby: Live updates as the wait continues for Duchess of Cambridge's second child
Hermann Goering's daughter fails to reclaim items looted by Nazi deputy during WWII
Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...