In an age when women are represented in the media and everywhere else as ambassadors of perfection and youth, famed photographer Peter Lindbergh says it was time to cry enough.
Taking his lead from last year’s ground-breaking Pirelli calendar, shot by Annie Liebovitz, which embraced age and body diversity, Peter photographed 13 famous actresses fully clothed, and without make-up and digital touch-ups.
“As an artist, I feel I’m responsible for freeing women from the idea of eternal youth and perfection,” explains Peter, who is best known for shooting Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell at the peak of their careers.
“The ideal of perfect beauty promoted by society is something that simply can’t be attained.”
The calendar’s move toward less sexualised images of women marks “undoubtedly a cultural shift, a real opening up and a big change,” adds Helen Mirren, 71, who jumped at the chance to be involved.
The choice to proudly look your age projects a good example of what natural beauty should be, says Nicole Kidman, 49, who added, “the courage to be yourself is the epitome of confidence and power.”
Actress Uma Thurman, 46, concurred with Helen and Nicole when she joined them on stage for the Paris launch of the Italian tyre company’s calendar.
“I have two daughters and a son, and it’s equally important for boys to see their mum ageing and being herself, and not being uncomfortable with that,” Uma told the assembled media throng.
“I think it’s wonderful to see that human empowerment opened up for that generation.”
Most of the calendar subjects are over 40, and include Penelope Cruz, 42, Julianne Moore, 55, Robin Wright, 50, and Charlotte Rampling, 70.
The lone non-actor to appear in the 2017 calendar is Anastasia Ignatova, a professor of political theory at Moscow State University and daughter-in-law of Sergey Chemezov, CEO of state-owned Russian industrial and technology giant Rostec (Pirelli’s partner in the joint venture Pirelli Tyre Russia).
The calendars cannot be bought. Approximately 33,000 are printed each year and now given as gifts to valuable Pirelli clients and a number of VIPs.