Calendar girls

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?


2 responses to “Calendar girls

  1. I honestly feel that, at his point, the only reason there is more female risque photography in magazines and the like, is because that type of photography really doesn’t appeal to women as much as it does men. It’s a case of supply and demand, not a case of media driven behavior. Once upon a time it might’ve been, but not anymore. I’m a woman who enjoys such magazines/games/calendars featuring men, I just don’t them as alluring as many men do. And I don’t feel the slightest bit objectified by men observing them.

  2. another great post – you always make me think a little deeper.

    just like now.

    the most beautiful women i know would not pose for a calendar. i can sit with them, talk with them and enjoy their beauty for hours. their loveliness lasts longer than an issue or a calendar month.

    but despite believing that, i do still struggle with the fact that society seems obsessed with beautiful women and their bodies – alot of which have been operated on, airbrushed, photoshopped, unhealthily attained or maintained at a high price.

    most guys i’ve known have said they like real women with real curves – so why do people still oogle women and buy those magazines and calendars?

    i do know men like breasts. i think that’s fine and normal. but i do think the women are showcased a little too much – and not real breasts – photshopped, airbrushed, fake ones – that most of us don’t have.

    i wish magazines would showcase real women and men and supported realistic healthy behavior. that’s much more beautiful to me.

    maybe if i was one of those women i would feel differently. i don’t blame or regret how they look on the outside. i’m sad we place so much emphasis on their outer beauty.

    more to ponder…thanks for getting me started.


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