Pirelli cal­en­dar jumps on no-makeup trend

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Elahe Izadi

For decades, the Pirelli cal­en­dar has been known for its ex­clu­siv­ity, its glam­our, its nu­dity.

But this year’s cal­en­dar, un­veiled Tues­day, is dif­fer­ent. Ger­man pho­tog­ra­pher Peter Lind­bergh cap­tured 14 ac­tresses not in daz­zling gowns, dolled up or in the buff, but in black and white with bare faces and un­kempt hair. The ac­tresses went nearly makeup-free for the shoot, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ported.

“In a time when women are rep­re­sented in the me­dia and ev­ery­where else, as am­bas­sadors of per­fec­tion and youth, I

EEthought 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, a beauty which speaks about in­di­vid­u­al­ity, courage to be your­self and your own pri­vate sen­si­bil­ity,” Lind­bergh said in a state­ment.

Lind­bergh’s ap­proach con­tin­ues the break that be­gan with last year’s cal­en­dar, in which An­nie Lei­bovitz pho­tographed — nearly nude or fully clothed — women such as Ser­ena Wil­liams, Amy Schumer and Yoko Ono. At the time, Lei­bovitz said she wanted the im­ages to be di­rect, “to show women ex­actly as they are, with­out ar­ti­fice.”

The no-makeup move­ment has been gain­ing con­sid­er­able at­ten­tion in re­cent years, es­pe­cially after singer Ali­cia Keys penned an es­say about why she’s go­ing barefaced. But some are crit­i­cal of cast­ing the de­ci­sion to go with­out makeup as an act of brav­ery.

“Is it a po­lit­i­cal state­ment, sloth, or, uh, some kind of weird fash­ion thing?” Jezebel once asked. “Or could … it be some strange, un­heard-of fourth op­tion … such as be­ing a hu­man in pos­ses­sion of a face who doesn’t feel the need to apply prod­ucts to it, and it is re­ally just not a big deal?”

Ei­ther way, turn­ing the Pirelli cal­en­dar into a state­ment about so­ci­ety en­sures the prod­uct re­mains cul­tur­ally rel­e­vant — es­pe­cially given its ex­tremely lim­ited avail­abil­ity (only a hand­ful of celebri­ties and the au­to­mo­tive com­pany’s cus­tomers ac­tu­ally get one), and celebri­ties and mod­els in­creas­ingly us­ing so­cial me­dia to push risqué or seem­ingly can­did im­ages. Past cal­en­dars were known for their ex­tremely not-safe-for-work im­ages. Now, pho­tograph­ing Ju­lianne Moore with­out makeup and wet hair is more shock­ing than Gigi Ha­did spread ea­gle in a body­suit.

The move­ment away from highly sex­u­al­ized im­ages shows “un­doubt­edly a cul­tural shift, a real open­ing up and a big change,” ac­tress He­len Mir­ren said, as quoted in the AP story.

Lind­bergh ti­tled the cal­en­dar “Emo­tional,” he said in a re­lease, be­cause he wanted “to cre­ate a cal­en­dar not around per­fect bod­ies, but on sen­si­tiv­ity of emo­tion, strip­ping down to the very soul of the sit­ters, who thus be­come more nude than naked.”

This year’s cal­en­dar fea­tures ac­tresses Jes­sica Chas­tain, Pené­lope Cruz, Kidman, Rooney Mara, Mir­ren, Lupita Ny­ong’o, Char­lotte Ram­pling, Lea Sey­doux, Uma Thur­man, Ali­cia Vikan­der, Kate Winslet, Robin Wright and Zhang Ziyi.

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