Opinion What kind of woman are all these companies marketing to?

What kind of woman are all these companies marketing to?

victoria's secret
Kirstie Clements asks: What's the point of all this? Photo: Getty
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The latest annual Pirelli calendar has launched, this time featuring a series of extremely attractive actresses of all ages, mostly over 40.

Julianne Moore, Helen Mirren, Nicole Kidman and Robyn Wright were all shot bare-faced and un-retouched, a purported “cry against the terror of perfection and youth”.

The Pirelli calendar was launched in the 1960s, and over the years has always largely featured naked, or semi-naked, young women – a product presumably destined for the walls of an auto shop.

But according to Pirelli, the idea was always to capture social trends, and be a sign of changing times. The “highly prized” calendars are now mostly distributed amongst the fashion and style crowd.

In an effort to keep up with the shifting political and feminist thinking, the concept of the nudie pin-up has been replaced by the idea of featuring women with beauty and substance,.

Hence, last year’s calendar featured fully clothed women who were mostly over 60, (apart from comedian Amy Schumer who was photographed wearing a g-string and displaying lovely, natural stomach rolls).

The production of the calendar is a hugely expensive exercise but the question remains, whom is it designed to appeal to exactly?

As chic as the new one is, no mechanic is putting a calendar of 50-year-old women up on his wall. Neither am I. I never need to see another shot of Nicole Kidman as long as I live.

Who is Pirelli marketing to? If they want to keep up with the changing times, they should maybe think about the fact now women also buy tyres.

I’m far more likely to respond to a “buy one tyre get one free” promotion sent to my email than a poster of a deadly serious looking Kate Winslet in a bra.

kate winslet
Kate Winslet, photographed by Peter Lindbergh for the 2017 Pirelli calendar.

I often wonder when I see various brand extravaganzas just what on earth the PR department were thinking. Victoria’s Secret is major one. It makes my blood boil.

In my world, grown women buy their own lingerie and don’t parade around wearing angel wings and romper suits.

vs show
The Victoria’s Secret parade used to be an attempt at grabbing men’s attention. before the fashion industry took over. Photo: Getty

The shows and the catalogues used to be largely targeted at men and the girls were comely and busty, but the fashion industry got involved a few years ago and now the “it” models that are used would weigh less than one of the tacky jewel-encrusted G-strings.

There are online videos and articles about the auditions themselves, as starry-eyed hopefuls compete for the chance to consume fewer calories than anyone else and still make it to the end of the catwalk.

A fashion editor friend of mine was at the show last week and posted an Instagram pic, the comment reading: “Just saw the VS show, I’ll never be able to look at myself naked in a full length mirror again”.

Well done, Victoria’s Secret. If there is a woman left in the world who feels happy with her natural body shape, then by all means keep working to eradicate that.

In my world, grown women buy their own lingerie and don’t parade around wearing angel wings and romper suits.

Why is it that women are always put in competition with each other, to be assessed as to who is more beautiful, more leggy, or better than your average 50-year-old without makeup?

It doesn’t happen to men. No one would suggest releasing an elegant tyre calendar each year of clothed 50-year-old men over who had achieved reasonable success in their chosen career.

Most of us are tired of being constantly compared, contrasted and rated.

And by the way, a lot of us can change a tyre.

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