What would fashion photography be like if it lacked sex appeal, makeup, touch-ups and couture clothing? Some people think the stereotypical pillars that prop up flawless editorial shoots are essential, but recently there has been a shift toward capturing honest beauty, with legendary photographer Peter Lindbergh at the helm. He challenges the status quo with the newly released 44th edition of the Pirelli Calendar, which features actresses including Nicole Kidman, Uma Thurman, Julianne Moore and Zhang Ziyi.
Pirelli calendars are renowned for being heavily sexualised and provocative – usually featuring celebrities and models that embody those traits – which has at times been received with criticism that the images are blatant, vulgar objectifications of women. Recently, however, the tyre company has pulled a complete 180, hiring Lindbergh to incorporate his signature realistic, minimalist aesthetic into images that symbolise truth, emotion and inner beauty, and illustrating the erasure of individual personality that comes with the overuse of makeup, filters and Photoshop.
In a world where a male-dominated media often dictates how women should look, Lindbergh’s work opposes that narrative, and instead, reinforces the idea that everyone, at any age and with any body, can and should be seen as beautiful.