A once ‘not-suitable-for-work’ calendar distributed to clients of an Italian tyre company has caught up with the times.
Following on from last year’s Annie Liebovitz-shot offering embracing age and body diversity, German photographer Peter Lindbergh continues in that vein for the 44th Pirelli edition.
Aptly titled Emotional, the black and white calendar features images of actresses spanning six decades, from Alicia Vikander, 28, to Helen Mirren, 71.
With all the women unretouched and fully clothed, the calendar deftly builds on 2016’s ground-breaking showcase of a very different kind of nakedness.
“In a time when women are represented in the media and everywhere else as ambassadors of perfection and youth, I thought it was important to remind everyone that there is a different beauty—more real and truthful and not manipulated by commercial or any other interests,” says Peter.
“A beauty that speaks about individuality, courage to be yourself, and your own private sensibility.
“As an artist, I feel I’m responsible for freeing women from the idea of eternal youth and perfection. The ideal of perfect beauty promoted by society is something that simply can’t be attained.”
When she heard that Peter was the photographer this year, Helen Mirren says she didn’t hesitate for a second.
“I thought they’d give me a black leotard or bikini and make my lie on a leopard print rug,” the movie star quipped at the star-studded launch.
“Peter makes it very loose, very organic, you don’t even realise we’re being shot.
“We’ve all got our slightly glazed eye red carpet poses, but it takes a great master like Peter to make you natural.”
Helen believes that the 2017 calendar should be used as a benchmark for young women.
“My advice for young girls would be to look at the Pirelli calendar,” she adds. “The reality is we live, we love, we continue, we contribute and that’s the role of women.
“It’s incredibly challenging for young girls these days and we must remind them that life goes on for a long time and you’ll be many things in that time.”
Nicole Kidman, who was also quick to sign on for the project, echoed Helen’s thoughts at the launch: “Female power is the courage to be yourself, to be able to walk into a room and be yourself.”
The other calendar subjects are: Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong’o, Charlotte Rampling, Lea Seydoux, Uma Thurman, Kate Winslet, Robin Wright, Zhang Ziyi and Russian professor Anastasia Ignatova.