Mario Sorrenti's 2012 Pirelli Calendar Empowers Women

A party for the 2012 Pirelli Calendar was held on Tuesday at the Armory. Yana Paskova for The New York TimesMen never cease to amaze me! Writing about the recent unveiling party for the 2012 Pirelli Calendar at Manhattan’s Armory, Bob Morris — who should know better — wrote for the New York Times Style section:

IT’S always important to know what you can’t have, especially for the holidays.

This year, gentlemen, add the 2012 Pirelli Calendar of nude models to your list. Since 1964, the Italian tire company has commissioned photographers to create this lavish work of high-end soft porn. It goes out to a list that likely doesn’t include many Italian auto mechanics.

The Vatican, the sultan of Brunei and Buckingham Palace get one, according to Pirelli. The White House? Not yet.

Doesn’t Morris know that the Pirelli Calendar is also beloved by the Girl’s Club, making it one of the few icons of global culture that men and women agree on?

Men can try to hoard the Pirelli Calendar, as if it’s stamped ‘No Women Allowed’, except for the awesome lineup of 12 women who make up this year’s Pirelli Calendar, finally shot by an Italian photographer Mario Sorrenti, who is long an AOC favorite.

Reality is that women readers are all over the digital images of Sorrenti’s Pirelli women, and with high praise. Responding to our presentation of the Pirelli 2012 Calendar on Sensuality News, a devoted AOC friend wrote:

Oh my God, Anne! The new Pirelli!!! I just saw some of the photos - I’m wondering what you think of them, because I’m stunned at the soft sensuality and the staggering picturesque atmosphere…..

(knocked out two paragraphs of her thoughts re the goddess-inspired jewelry collection I’m working on)

I hope you are doing fabulous and fine! I look forward to seeing each of your writings and all you publish and create - it’s like a safe place to know you can always find the true meaning of sensuous, strong and creative. Thank you for that, Anne!

Of course her words touched me at the core of AOC’s commitment to women worldwide in every area of our lives, including sensuality and sexuality, too.

In a career of working in lingerie development and design, and then women’s lifestyle consulting for Fortune 100 beauty and lingerie clients, I know that massive numbers of women embrace sensuality including tasteful nudity and eroticism. American women are perhaps more ambivalent about openly supporting sensuality, because we’re hounded endlessly by America’s morality police, mostly men telling us that we’re tainted women for seeing the sensual beauty of nature and our own bodies. 

Mario Sorrenti and the 2012 Pirelli women help to free us from those chains, finding our own inner harmony. Simply stated, Mario Sorrenti isn’t in a male dominance power play with his Pirelli women.


Lara Stone by Mario Sorrenti for 2012 Pirelli Calendar.

Some years Pirelli scores better than others.

For me last year’s Karl Lagerfeld 2011 Pirelli Calendar was flatter than a gin fizz sitting in a cabana on the French Riviera for a week. Karl succeeded in writing every ounce of sensuality out of the calendar. Many believe it was a welcome reprieve from T-Boner Terry Richardson’s 2010 Pirelli porn production, which clearly didn’t have the appeal to women that Sorrenti’s 2012 images possess.

Indeed, I’ve read comments from men that Pirelli’s Sorrentini images are too tame, but they come from porn-saturated American men, not Europeans.  For me the 2012 Pirelli Mario Sorrenti Calendar is pitch perfect, as was Peter Beard’s 2009 Pirelli and shot with a much softer, China-inspired romanticism, Patrick Demarchelier’s 2008 calendar. I can understand challenges to the 2008 calendar, which was exquisitely sensual and beautiful but left everything to the imagination.

This making of the calendar video is delicious. It’s a woman’s film, one also enjoyed by enlightened, sensual men. In addition to the gorgeous images, the models are articulate, sharing many words of wisdom about the intersection of Smart Sensuality values: smart, sexy and with heart.

I love the comparison of Pirelli’s really strong tires and really strong women. The sounds of nature’s contribution to human sensuality play an arousing role in this 20 minute presentation.

Kate Moss sums up Mario Sorrenti’s relationship with women by saying that he truly adores us, including our female form. I’ve written these same words on many occasions about Mario Sorrenti and am thrilled to see a Smart Sensuality man behind the lens of the 2012 Pirelli Calendar.

Must we go backwards next year Pirelli? Why not press forward with women and men photographers who truly love females as we are in our best, authentic version? The world needs more sensual, emotional, natural, intimacy-seeking connections.

Why not empower us as these beautiful women say — not imaging us in a cold intellectualism as Lagerfeld did last year — or pornified as Terry Richardson did in 2010? If you stick to interpretations of an Italian vision of sensual women, you can hardly go wrong. Pirelli. Thanks for the reverie; it takes little prompting for me to write passionately about la dolce vita. Anne

The Making of the Pirelli 2012 Calendar