The term "beauty" has become more flexible—but that's just a first stepby Jessica Abrahams / December 6, 2016 / Leave a comment
Pirelli is an Italian company that produces high-performance tyres for racing cars. Based on a logic that I can only assume runs as follows—racing cars are popular among men; and men like naked women—Pirelli has also produced, since the 1960s, an annual calendar of women in various states of undress.
The 2015 calendar was fetish-themed, featuring women wearing latex outfits and carrying whips. But since then, Pirelli appears to have had a change of heart. In 2016, it was praised for replacing the hyper-sexualised, hyper-Photoshopped beauties typically found in such calendars with down-to-earth studio portraits of accomplished women from Serena Williams to Amy Schumer. Many of them were still undressed, but no matter: “The 2016 Pirelli calendar breaks tradition and stereotypes,” declared Vanity Fair; “A new dawn for feminism”, said Bustle.
Clearly pleased with the response, the company is busy challenging the patriarchy once more with its 2017 offering, teasers for which were released this week. The Hollywood-themed calendar features sophisticated black-and-white photos of successful actresses of different generations, up to 71-year-old Helen Mirren. The poses are more intimate, less provocative. All the women are at least partially dressed, although we still get a few glimpses of bras and knickers. They wear little make-up and are apparently Photoshop-free.