First it was Playboy doing away with nude pinups. Now the 2016 Pirelli calendar has eschewed the naked ladies – well, mostly – for something different, courtesy of photographer Annie Leibovitz.
Think Patti Smith as imagined by John Singer Sargent, Fran Lebowitz as a latter-day Georges Sand and model Natalia Vodianova with her youngest in a pose that despite her bare leggy-ness echoes a Raphael Madonna and Child.
Besides Vodianova, other examples of fleshiness are a topless Serena Williams, back to the camera in a heroic lunge; and Amy Schumer in panties and heels, comfortable with her stomach rolls as she holds a paper cup.
“Along with Playboy’s decision in October to end nudity in its pages, the Pirelli pivot seems to give real substance to the theory that we are at a flexion point in the public objectification of female sexuality,” The New York Times fashion director and chief fashion critic Vanessa Friedman has observed.
This is not only the fruit of feminism but of the gay rights movement, which has made it more acceptable to enjoy male beauty and thus has taken some of the pressure off women as sex symbols.
I’m waiting for a Pirelli calendar featuring the likes of Colin Kaepernick, Rafael Nadal….