Serena Williams And Amy Schumer Featured In The 2016 Pirelli Calendar
Since 1964, tire maker Pirelli has been producing calendars. Each of the twelve months are usually graced by a scantily clad female photographed in an artistic manner. The calendars, still filling their role as a marketing device, have carried many different themes through the decades, though never departing too far from the soft-core exposure of the feminine form.
That has changed for 2016.
Shot by photographer Annie Leibovitz, the upcoming edition takes a new approach to the annual publication. Gone are the seductive stares of bare-breasted 20-somethings, replaced by the weathered, soft smiles of well-known women who have, in several cases, spent decades making a name for themselves by bullishly fighting for their place in modern society.
The lineup of ladies includes the hugely influential Yao Chen and Tavi Gevinson, two actress and social media moguls, along with pop culture icons Yoko Ono and Patti Smith. Tennis legend Serena Williams and comedian Amy Schumer are present, as well as film director Ava DuVernay and film producer Kathleen Kennedy, whose latest works include Selma and the newest installment of Star Wars, respectively.
The traditional model-type isn’t completely abandoned, as the Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova appears on January’s page. Her look, however, falls right in line with the other women in the calendar. A strong motherly presence shines through the image as she holds her baby while draped in a satin robe. It’s sensual, yet very tasteful.
The very fact I’m writing this (and you are reading this) shows Pirelli’s well-hatched plan of deviating from the normal. Perhaps the cue was taken from Playboy, which announced in October that its monthly magazine would no longer feature nude photographs. Regardless of Pirelli’s inspiration, its 2016 calendar is getting far more attention than it otherwise would have. Suddenly it’s popular to be PG-13.
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Why it matters
Though sex continues to proliferate pop culture in most societies worldwide, the few dominos that have fallen the other way have been massive strikes against the profane. It’s intriguing to see how publications like Playboy Magazine and Pirelli’s calendar have moved from pornographic to pragmatic. Breast sizes and waistlines have been traded for résumé credentials and social impact levels. It will be interesting to see if and how this trend continues in modern culture.