Andrea Mary Marshall’s Feminist Calendar Says Women Can Be Sexy & Influential
The Pirelli calendar and its pin-ups have become so popular since its beginning in the 1960’s, that the calendar become known as the “Cal.” With its sexy photos of the hottest models and it’s exclusive distribution, it has become an emblem of pop culture.
However, recent political movements of the last year inspired Pirelli to take this years calendar in a different direction. This year, instead of its typical scantily clad models, it’s chosen to feature influential women… that are fully clothed. While many women may be cheering this movement from the sexualization of the female body to the celebration of influential women, Andrea Mary Marshall had a different perspective.
After all, what is this years Pirelli calendar truly saying about influential women vs. the sexy models? Why can’t they be one and the same? Marshall has chosen to create her own calendar, entitled The Feminist Calendar, to challenge the idea that women can’t be sexy and influential. Marshall’s calendar features self portraits. 24 self portraits of herself, half in a sexually explicit and stylized form, and half in a more subdued and regal style.
Can you tell us about what inspired you to take on this project?
I really loved the 1970’s Pirelli calendars. I thought they were really beautiful and really strong, but I felt that a woman’s voice was largely absent from Pirelli’s history. I wanted to take on the role of not only exploring a woman’s perspective, but also taking on the role of the photographer and the model, being the subject and the object.
With doing that, do you find it easier to model for your own project since you know what look you are going for? Or more difficult?
Most all of my work is self-portraiture, it’s what Ive always done. I think it’s interesting to explore the self and that’s really fascinating to me as part of my journey as an artist. I think it really connects to contemporary culture because nowadays with selfies women are portraying themselves differently. You see the Kardashians taking pictures of themselves all the time, and that’s now becoming the main way that women are being depicted in mass media.
What advice do you have for women who feel that being “sexy” means that they won’t be taken seriously?’
I think that you need to do what is right for you, I think you need to live your life as you see fit. Feminism is equal rights to self-determination.
Do you feel that our culture is taking strides to eliminate the idea that you can’t be sexy and powerful?
Slowly, but surely. But I think the message is too often the same; Sexy women take their clothes off and Smart women leave their clothes on. The key is to be unapologetically authentic.
Who are some females that you see as pioneering this movement and/or role models?
I think that there are many examples of strong successful women; from politicians, to CEOs, to performers, to artists. Hillary Clinton, Queen Rania, and Beyonce to name a few…
What do you have to say to a guy that thinks you can’t be influential while showing your body?
Well, I’m a lesbian, so I don’t really care what men think about my sexuality. But…I guess I would tell him to fuck off.
Dorothy Parker, because she thinks for herself.
I have my exhibition for the end of 2016 which is called Superheroine.