Pirelli today announced details of its 2010 calendar. And I must say I am decidedly unexcited.
I am obviously not the target market, and Pirelli needn’t be worried – it’s been around since the 60s and is still an icon of classiness worn with pride by any mechanic’s workplace. But whether it is Playboy, Pirelli, or the newer lads mag brands of Nuts and Zoo, boobs are boobs and erotic photography is what it is.
The legitimate industry provides cover for a great deal of sleazy and fake operators, and its love of young girls makes me rather uncomfortable. In the UK, the largest selling newspaper still features a topless page 3 girl every day and anyone objecting to these ‘soft’ images is often quickly labelled as prudish.
But I don’t like it. While there are fireman calendars, we don’t see men draped across the pages of the mainstream press. And (with a very few exceptions… none of which are sold on eye-level shelves) the body parts the men show (while excessively oiled up) are just the same parts we would see at the swimming pool. The images of women show a whole lot more.
To me, these magazines and calendars are demonstration of how ingrained and acceptable the objectification of women is in society. When sitting on a train next to someone openly reading one of these magazines (or simply reading The Sun newspaper), I feel uncomfortable. I can almost physically feel them disregarding my brain, my personality, my contribution as a human… because their brain is being focused on the female form and the stereotypical depiction of perfection.
I am not at all against women being sexy. Or regarded as beautiful. But it is important to me that these features are recognised as part of a greater whole. There is nothing in this industry that promotes independence, or intelligence, or humour… and I believe it teaches boys to assess women with entirely the wrong criteria.
What do you think?