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Annie Leibovitz Shoots Pirelli’s 2016 Calendar With New, Diverse, and Iconic Calendar Women


The Pirelli 2016 Calendar is getting a lot of attention today because it is, in the words of photographer Annie Leibovitz, “completely different” this year. The calendar, which traditionally focused on young, thin fashion models/actresses, decided to expand their subjects to include a more diverse group of women. Pirelli gave Annie Leibovitz creative freedom, telling her “We want to do a departure.” While there’s nothing inherently wrong about nudity (it’s notable that there are two topless photos in the 2o16 calendar), this calendar actively rejects objectification and the women all look powerful and comfortable. The calendar features the following women with a stunning black and white portrait, accompanied by a short biography that I’ve crudely condensed:

First Page: Yao Chen (First Chinese Goodwill Ambassador to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees)

January: Natalia Vodianova, pictured with her child (Model and philanthropist)

February: Kathleen Kennedy (Producer and president of Lucasfilm)

March: Agnes Gund (MOMA President Emerita) and granddaughter Sadie Rain Hope-Gund

April: Serena Williams (Athlete)

May: Fran Lebowitz (Author)

June: Mellody Hobson (Chairman of Board of Directors at Dreamworks)

July: Ava DuVernay (Director)

August: Tavi Gevinson (Writer and Actress)

September: Shirin Neshat (Artist)

October: Yoko Ono (Artist)

November: Patti Smith (Punk icon and artist)

December: Amy Schumer (Comedian)

In a promotional video on their website, Hobson says the calendar in “what women like me have been dreaming of,” and Neshat states “to pay tribute to women of all ages is quite a statement.”

Most of the press is centered around Schumer’s and Williams’ topless photos, both of which I found powerful and honest. Schumer says “I felt I looked more beautiful than I’ve ever felt in my life, and I felt like it looked like me.” Liebovitz said that it’s a small joke, “as if she didn’t get the memo.” Schumer also tweeted this:

DuVernay was also happy about the project, saying “I love that they’re embracing the moment we’re in.”

Leibovitz stated she wanted to capture honest portraits of these women, and I feel like she accomplished what she set out to do. I hope that Pirelli decides this isn’t just a one-year thing and continues to spotlight all kinds of women they’ve had a tendency to exclude: women with different body types, trans women, older women, etc. You can learn more about the women and Leibovitz on their website. What do you think about the 2016 calendar?

(via NY Times)

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