2016 Pirelli Calendar - no nipples, but ripples & wrinkles

  So, when Playboy made the announcement in October that it was not going to publish any more nudity in its pages, some of their readers ...

 
So, when Playboy made the announcement in October that it was not going to publish any more nudity in its pages, some of their readers (we use the word ‘readers’ loosely) thought that pigs had begun to fly while hell had frozen over. But it appears to be a trend for publications notorious for female objectification to turn over a new leaf. A new kind of Pirelli calendar was unveiled late November, and the 2016 issue featured a new baker’s dozen batch of women - one for each month and one more for the foreword - who are, for the most part, fully clothed (sorry, boys). These women were chosen by the famed photographer, Annie Leibovitz, and the selection criteria were their achievements and influence, rather than measurements.

In the 50 years that the Pirelli calendar has been in publication - minus a nine-year hiatus - we have seen a peek of Gisele Bundchen’s nipple, a topless Naomi Campbell and a completely naked Kate Moss. The latest calendar features only one model, and she is swathed in a billowy robe while carrying her baby.


We can imagine the phone calls that took place between Leobovitz’s office and some of the women: “That’s odd” was apparently what philanthropist and president emerita of MoMA, Agnes Gund, who is 77 years old, thought.

Gund and her granddaughter
65-year-old author, Fran Lebowitz, who is known for dressing in her signature tailored Savile Row suits, thought “it was a joke”.

The Italian tyre maker do not sell but gifts the calendars to an exclusive group of 20,000 VIP’s, consisting of politicians, royalty, musicians and the like. We wonder if they would be disappointed (and even confused) when they open their fresh calendars expecting artsy nudes and provocative poses by young models, only to see Yoko Ono (who still looks fab, by the way) perched on a high stool:


The only two “models” who took their clothes off were Serena Williams (top image) and Amy Schumer, but most would agree that the athlete looked strong while the comedian looked chill.

Feminists are lauding the new approach that the calendar has taken, but hold on. Leibovitz had complete control over casting and the concept, so the calendar could revert to its usual risqué images, depending on the photographer next year. Erm, what does any of this have to do with selling tyres again?

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