Va-va-voom! Pirelli Calendar Features Plus-Size Model for the First Time in History

The Italian tire company’s iconic calendar for 2015 has been revealed this week with a few surprises. Although SheRa Mag wouldn’t usually bring focus to something full of images of models sexed up and styled for the male gaze (and in tight rubber to boot), what did catch our eye was that a plus-size model—a real plus-size model, Calvin Klein—was used for the first time in the calendar’s 42-year history.


Source: Pirelli/Steven Meisel

Candice Huffine, a 16-size beauty adored by the editors over at Vogue Italia joins supermodels Joan Smalls, Adriana Lima, Natalia Vodianova, and newcomer Gigi Hadid. As one of the biggest accolades a model can achieve in her career (Naomi Campbell and Heidi Klum are alumni), we are glad a plus-size model has finally entered the zeitgeist of one of the fashion industry’s most coveted publications.

Popular fashion photographer Steven Meisel (who also founded the calendar and shot Madonna for her Sex book) shot the models in New York earlier this year, with Carine Roitfeld (the former Editor-In-Chief of Vogue France) and Pat McGrath lending a hand as stylist and makeup artist, respectively.

“In my opinion, these are the key aesthetic models of today’s world. They represent the stereotypes that the fashion and star system impose upon us right now,” Meisel said in a press release.

Natasha Devon points out in The Independent that although a true size 16, Huffine is still tall and conventionally beautiful so the hoo-ha surrounding her inclusion is ill-founded. But I disagree. No one is denying that Huffine is a model but we also cannot deny that including a bigger sized model in a calendar usually reserved for women whose bodies look very similar (read: tall, and extremely slim) is a step in the right direction. The fact that Meisel recognizes she is a marker of one of today’s key aesthetics is positive and shows that the fashion industry is more and more championing women of different sizes. We just hope it is not a fleeting trend, like so many things in the fashion world are.

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