Goodbye Photoshopping, goodbye sexy posing, goodbye over-the-top nude shots.
This year’s Pirelli calendar is nothing like its former versions, which had a slew of partially naked to very naked supermodels, like Kate Moss. Instead, the 2016 calendar features the women heroes of 2015, like Amy Schumer and Serena Williams.
Our favorite Trainwreck star has been outspoken about body image and society’s unrealistic ideals of women’s bodies, and her response to her nude photo shoot is no exception: “Beautiful, gross, strong, thin, fat, pretty, ugly, sexy, disgusting, flawless, woman.”
— Amy Schumer (@amyschumer) November 30, 2015
Haven’t we all felt that way?
Beautiful when we’re with people we love. Gross when we’ve sloth-ed for a couple days too long. Strong when we crushed that workout. Thin when we wake up in the morning and glance at our flat stomachs. Fat when we’ve polished off that fourth slice of pizza. Pretty when your hair game is just so on point. Ugly when that pimple on your forehead just won’t go away. Sexy when your boyfriend kisses you hello and goodnight. Disgusting when you’re just having an off day. Flawless because you #wokeuplikethis.
But most of all, a woman — all of the above.
There’s no retouching in this refreshingly candid shot. It’s just Amy in her underwear, defiantly unabashed to flaunt what society would call “fat.” She’s holding her coffee cup with a slightly exasperated look on her face, as if she’s saying, “Yeah, I know you’re taking pics of me because I’m hot. But are you done yet? ‘Cause my coffee’s getting cold.”
She’s real. And her confidence in this shoot conveys that realness. It’s that very realness that provokes thought, that inspires both women and men, that signifies that our culture and our society are shifting.
Throughout the years, various cultural shifts have signified the different standards of beauty, from the waif-thin flappers, to the heroin-chic supermodels, to the Marilyn Monroe’s and finally to the current athletic-with-boobs-aka-lean-but-still curvy (wow, what a mouthful) “ideal body.”
And now? It’s a cultural shift towards real women.
We had hoped 2015 was the era of the plus-sized model. Now here’s to hoping 2016 will be the era of the real woman. Not the plus-sized woman, not the athletic woman, not the thin woman, but all of the women.
The Pirelli calendar, which features not only Amy Schumer but also Serena Williams in all of her muscular beauty, demonstrates this shift. It shows “strong but natural” women, according to photographer Annie Leibovitz. that there should be no “ideal body” you aspire to have. Why should you confirm to society’s standards when you can just be you?
It’s not to say that you can’t hope to lose a few pounds for health (or gain a few pounds for health). It’s not to say that you can’t aspire to be a different version of yourself. It’s just saying that you are who you are, and it doesn’t matter who you are or who you want to be — you’re beautiful regardless. At any and every stage.
See the rest of the photos from the 2016 calendar here.