Pirelli 2009 calendar hits every -ism in the book

Warning: most of the images below the cut are wildly offensive, racist, and contain strong sexualised violence triggers. The same applies to all of the links in this post.

Sociological Images features some photos from Pirelli’s car-tyre calendar. The calendar is distributed only to selected so-called “movers and shakes”; it is considered a status symbol to be on The List.

Here’s a sampling.






Two behind-the-scenes videos can be see here. At one point, a tear clearly runs down Isabeli Fontana’s face while she’s shooting the bug-on-face shot. I guess they Photoshopped that out.


The comments at SI only numbered nine before some douchearse fuckknuckle blamed the models.

Categories: arts & entertainment, ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, social justice

Tags: , , , , , , ,

23 replies

  1. Ugh, I saw a making-of of this calendar on some TV show and was really disgusted. Not only are the pictures revolting, but for one picture a model had to straddle a dead buzzard and then that bug shoot – ick!

  2. Ok, those are seriously gruesome. And no, I don’t blame the models (or particularly the photographers, they both have money pressure) – the producers get my ire.

  3. Tell me that’s NOT a picture of him chopping her hand off with a chainsaw…

  4. I’m not sure – it’s also been interpreted as her holding the wood for him. But I do suspect that the “attention elsewhere” look they’ve given her is meant to evoke the idea that her hand or fingers are about to come off (as well allow you to interpret it as being due to her negligence).
    I feel a bit queasy after typing that.

  5. I can’t see any way to interpret those middle ones except gang rape of an animal-ized woman of color. This is disgusting, and it just doesn’t quit.

  6. Yes, the stuff about model/photographer was shitting me too, as if the photographer just went ‘Yes, yes…that’s it’ and spontaneously this scenario unfolded. This would have been planned for months by whoever was given creative control over the Pirelli shoots. And Pirelli’s ultimately responsible.
    Also, that dude who was like ‘I don’t see gang rape, maybe if her pantiess were off and she was on the ground’ or some similar horse manure…they are tearing her clothes off, twisting her limbs, dragging her away…and THEN he said he sees cannibalism/sacrifice or severe punishment…OH, ALL BETTER THEN!!! Thanks for wondering along though Random Dude and informing us of your superior skills of deduction, and how we’re all wrong. She’s naked, there’s a group of people using violence against her, she’s totally dehumanised. That’s enough to me to slam it as horrific sexual violence.

  7. Ugh. I don’t know what’s more revolting, the images themselves or the thought of ‘movers and shakers’ displaying them on the office wall as a marker of personal prestige.

  8. Oh, and: a faceless black guy? Very nice.

  9. Absolutely disgusting.

  10. That’s shocking. How can anyone think that that’s acceptable?

  11. These images aren’t erotic or interesting in any way as far as I’m concerned. They are simply offensive.

  12. Feeling.sick.

    Is it just that my radar is better-tuned lately or is this shit *actually* getting worse every week?

  13. Beyond extraordinary.

  14. Been away for a few days – by way of fuckpoliteness’ comment, looks like someone argued the gang rape images before getting troll-stomped? Unreal. Round 2 of fury and disgust:
    You know, sure, they’re all appalling, and they do hit every ism in the book. But in my own personal reaction: okay, the bug was self-evidently gross and upsetting for the model. But on the scale of things – those middle photographs are completely psychotic on every conceivable level, and plugging directly into a very particular psychosis of entangled racism and sexual violence acted out in the real world – dehumanization at its most unapologetic and full-on crazy. And yeah, carefully planned to do exactly that. And I don’t know if the excised commenter was doing this or not, but a big ol’ don’t anyone dare to start any BS about BDSM and consentuality and ‘fantasy’ (that is a real woman who is doing her job not engaging in a sexual act – consentual or otherwise – and the image will affect real women, without their consent). Enough with the failure to understand the difference between fantasy and reality (it’s easy: real person involved in some way? not fantasy), and the utter self-delusion of thinking that fantasy itself is neutral, existing in a vacuum unaffected by cultural sickness, and the resulting possibility of not naming those photographs for what they are.
    / rant-vent, begin stomach ache. Again.
    Theriomorph’s last blog post..Interpretive dance: the answer to everything.

  15. If you go over to Crimitism you can see one of the logical conclusions to this: Zoo magazine’s feature on models who have been murdered and I think Richie totally nailed it – even in death the images of these women are wank fodder with the added bonus that the details of their violent deaths becomes one of the wank triggers. Pirelli and Zoo are training men to become violent rapists. Don’t believe me then consider the way that offender treatment programmes begin to decouple sexual responses from inappropriate stimuli; essentially it is the reverse of what Pirelli are doing, the gradual decoupling of sexual responses from inappropriate stimuli.

  16. Argh, forgive the repetition there in the last sentence.

  17. I think it’s worth repeating Su.

  18. It’s strange that people that come from countries that have raped, devastated, colonized entire continets for centuries, thinks that some artistic pics could be racist. The sequence of the rape are inspired at a cerimony of Kalahari’s population, a cerimony not a rape. By the way, in the pics none is white. In a other there’s a tree that is bleeding … a very enviromentalistic message. where’s the problem??

  19. Well, geez, Luca, on a quick reading of your comment I’d say the problem’s with your capacity to exercise empathy or critical thinking skills.


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