2017 Pirelli Calendar is VSFW again

But Automologist LING is not that impressed. And it’s not because of the lack of nudity. 

The Italian tyre manufacturer’s calendar for 2017 has been revealed, and for the second consecutive year, it is Very Safe For Work. Last year, the famed portraitist Annie Leibovitz shot a bevy of women of diverse age and body type. This year’s publication also shows women who are covered up and includes those ‘of a certain age’.

When I asked my colleagues, mostly of the testosterone-fuelled gender, if any of them were interested in writing about the new Pirelli Calendar, I received barely a grunt in response. That’s not to say that they are disappointed that Pirelli appears to have decidedly changed ways and leave its soft porn history behind, nor that I work with anti-feminists. Even I couldn’t help but roll my eyes when I read that Peter Lindbergh said that, as an artist, he felt responsible for “free(ing) women from the idea of eternal youth and perfection.”

I suppose that Lindbergh truly believes in what he says. This is his third time shooting for the Pirelli Calendar, and a quick search on his past works showed the women increasingly clad over the years:

Lindbergh’s work for Pirelli’s 1996 Calendar.
One of his shots from the 2012 edition.

I won’t delve into how, despite the calendar claiming that it is celebrating the natural beauty of women, it features mostly white women, all of them Hollywood stars except one (see below), and they have the expertise of nutritionists, fitness experts, makeup artists, lighting technicians, and an experienced photographer at their disposal. Plenty of critics are already doing that.

The 2017 edition features one ‘commoner’, a lecturer whose face had captured the photographer’s eye.

I simply ask the same question that I ask every year when the new calendar comes out, since I started writing about cars: What does any of this have to do with tyres?

Okay, so Helen Mirren can do no wrong in my book. Besides, she’s in Fast & Furious 8, so that’s the connection there.

The calendar started out as a typical marketing collateral back in 1964, when the first issue was printed and handed out liberally to Pirelli tyre dealers. Somewhere along the way, it became a collector’s item and printed in limited quantities to be given to exclusive customers.

I have no objections towards a calendar by a tyre manufacturer that features pretty pictures of pretty people, even in their natural, unsheathed glory. After all, every year I look forward to the Dieux du Stade and just a few days ago, I found out, to my delight, about the Farmers Calendar that features Adonis-like farmers (a female version is available too, if you’re interested). In my defense, the former features the actual rugby team and the latter has real farmers (and animals! I love animals!). My point is that what bothers me about the Pirelli Calendar has always been the lack of relevance.

No need to remind me that it is just a marketing gimmick, and its launch every year around this time garners plenty of publicity. But I would still appreciate the effort and creativity of finding new ways to incorporate actual tyres into the calendar, year after year. Pirelli managed to do it before, surely it could again:

One of my favourite pictures still.

If you still want to see a video about beautiful women having their pictures taken by a famous photographer, with not one tyre in it, go on…



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