Have you ever thought about what does it really take to look beautiful? Are the parameters the same when you’re in your 20’s, 40’s, 60’s or 70’s? How much of the equation is age, looks, physique, hair, makeup, clothes or attitude? A day doesn’t go by that I don’t ask myself a question: What’s with the desperate drive for perfection?
Women are constantly bombarded by the media to attain a standard of beauty that is unrealistic to many of us. I’m guilty of that myself. I love fashion photography and editorials but I wish there would be more photos capturing different types of beauty. More candid. More natural raw beauty. Less retouched. Photos capturing sensitivity and emotion rather than perfect bodies. And that’s exactly what you’ll find in the new Pirelli calendar photographed by Peter Lindbergh.
“In a time when women are represented in the media and everywhere else, as ambassadors of perfection and youth, I thought 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…”
In order to convey his idea of natural beauty and femininity, Lindbergh has portrayed 14 internationally renowned actresses, most of whom are over fourty. Celebrities featured in the calendar include Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, Helen Mirren, Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong’o, Charlotte Rampling, Lea Seydoux, Uma Thurman, Alicia Vikander, Kate Winslet, Robin Wright and Zhang Ziyi. Lindberg captured them wearing minimal hair and makeup. They radiate confidence, inner strength and peace with their physical selves. They are p – e – r – f – e – c – t! It’s unfortunate the calendars cannot be bought but for the first time, the extended version of the “Making Of” film of the Pirelli Calendar is available, be sure to watch it here.
If I were to ask you to tell me everything that’s wrong with you, I bet you’d have no problem reeling off a long list of your flaws and failures. I have a list in my mind already. So why is it so hard to love ourselves? I wish I knew the answer. But I know something else. Regardless of all of our perceived flaws and failures, we are the only WE we have.
Photo: Peter Lindbergh/Pirelli