Brooding, raw and untouched: the 2017 Pirelli Calendar challenges the traditional idea of the ‘pin-up’ girl.
Previously famed for its raunchy images of some of the world’s most beautiful (and unattainable) models, this year photographer Peter Lindbergh decided to follow Annie Leibovitz’s lead after she reinvented the calendar’s look in 2015.
What resulted are raw and intimate portraits of Hollywood’s most respected actresses – and not a model in sight.
“We just showed what we think is beautiful, what is simple and what is decent,” Lindbergh said in the calendar’s behind-the-scenes video.
Australia’s own Nicole Kidman, Oscar darlings Alicia Vikander and Lupita Nyong’o, and House of Cards’ Robin Wright feature in the group, whose average age is 44.
In the upper age bracket are industry veterans Charlotte Rampling (70) and the unstoppable Helen Mirren (71).
Despite the generally positive reception for the calendar’s updated direction, in August a body image specialist warned readers against assuming the women gracing the pages were a true representation of society.
“I just can’t understand why we’re still objectifying women in a calendar made by a tyre company,” Body Positive Australia director Sarah Harry told The New Daily.
No longer ageist, but it’s still Hollywood
This year’s roster is rounded out by a bevy of actresses who either have Oscars sitting in their living rooms or have come very close.
Actress Julianne Moore described walking into the shoot with no makeup and wet hair, only to be told she looked perfect.
Moore, along with Rooney Mara, Jessica Chastain, Uma Thurman, Kate Winslet, Penelopé Cruz, Anastasia Ignatova and Lea Sedoux each make “films that really touch you”, Lindbergh, the German photographer behind this year’s edition, told Vogue earlier this year.
He said this year’s calendar was intended to rile against the “twisted” and “commercial” standards of beauty.
“You have to be perfect, you have to be thin, you have to be young – you have to be all this … it’s so awful,” he said.
But body image specialist Ms Harry told The New Daily that while talented and ‘stripped back’, the women chosen still represented very commercial standards of beauty.
“It still boils down to the old-fashioned idea of the mechanics garage with pictures of women in it,” she said.
The evolution of the Pirelli Calendar
Yet the Pirelli Calendar has undeniably come a long way.
For its 2016 edition, iconic New York photographer Liebovitz did the unthinkable, and produced a pin-up calendar featuring women wearing collared shirts and slacks.
More shocking still, the women who did strip down revealed bodies not often heralded by Hollywood – namely comedian Amy Schumer and tennis champion, Serena Williams.
Musician Patti Smith wore a black vest and biker boots, while mini-media mogul Tavi Gevinson presented in a black turtle neck and loafers.
It was in stark contrast to the Pirelli Calendar of old, which more often pushed the envelope in terms of nudity than anything else.
Frequented by names such as Gisele Bundchen, Natalia Vodianova and Miranda Kerr, the Pirelli calendar of old was infinitely more revealing – at least on a physical level.