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After 50 years, a controversial calendar surprised the world in a wonderful way.

"I felt I looked more beautiful than I've ever felt in my life," Amy Schumer says about the Pirelli calendar.

After 50 years, a controversial calendar surprised the world in a wonderful way.

Progress is usually measured in calendar years, not calendars themselves. But this may be an exception.

For more than 50 years, Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli has released an annual calendar. Typically filled with pictures of models posing provocatively in various states of undress, the almost always NSFW calendar was the very epitome of the adage "sex sells."

For the 2016 calendar, they decided to try something a little different.


All GIFs from Harper's Bazaar/YouTube.

The 2016 Pirelli calendar features women ranging in age from 19 to 82, and only one of them is a professional model.

This is a marked difference from calendars in past years that featured the likes of Adriana Lima, Kate Moss, Karlie Kloss, Miranda Kerr, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

But the 2016 calendar lineup — shot by Annie Leibovitz — features writer and editor Tavi Gevinson, tennis champion Serena Williams, artist Yoko Ono, author Fran Lebowitz, rock legend Patti Smith, famed producer Kathleen Kennedy, businesswoman Mellody Hobson, director Ava DuVernay, philanthropist Agnes Gund, visual artist Shirin Neshat, model (and Pirelli calendar alum) Natalia Vodianova, and comedian Amy Schumer.


The calendar embraces the fact that women come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. It's a feminist statement.

And that seems to be a sentiment shared by many of the calendar's stars. For example, here's DuVernay, the history-making director of "Selma," on what the calendar's shift means to her.

Neshat echoes those feelings with her own statement. What's interesting, however — and what might actually be the biggest sign that yes, this is a step in the right direction despite there being so much more progress to be made — is how simple these goals seem.

Honoring women based on accomplishment and not solely on youth or appearance shouldn't have to be a statement in and of itself — but it is.

There's no real "shock value" in overt, hyper-sexualized pictorials anymore.

"A white, able-bodied cisgendered woman being naked is just not revolutionary anymore," Rookie Magazine founder and editor-in-chief Tavi Gevinson tells the New York Times. "I don't think anyone is going to be like, 'Damn, I wanted those naked chicks.'"

There is no shortage of "naked chicks" in magazines or online. But places that used to use sexualized nudity to draw attention — such as Playboy, which has announced a sunset of the magazine's famous nude photo spreads, and the rebranding efforts of magazines like Maxim — are finding there can be more success in simply taking things from a more real (and less airbrushed) angle.

The 2016 Pirelli calendar promotes self-love and finding your own definition of beauty.

No, it's not "Real women have curves" or Meghan Trainor lyrics about how awful "skinny bitches" are. Those cases simply trade in one pain point for another. We can do better.

Amy Schumer tweeted her picture from the calendar — in which she's wearing nearly nothing — along with a perfect rundown of the contradictions women (and all people, really) are forced to navigate on a daily basis.

But during a behind-the-scenes interview, she really summed up what makes Pirelli's 2016 calendar so great: She can see herself in it. Literally.

And while unlike Schumer, you and I may not actually see ourselves in the pages, maybe we can catch glimpses of ourselves a little bit here or a little bit there in the calendar's pages — the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly — more so than ever before.

2015 saw some great progress for women around the world, and this is a great way to keep up that momentum in the new year. What better way to start 2016 than with some love and acceptance?

Learn more about the making of Pirelli's calendar in this video from Harper's Bazaar.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather
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While most 10-year-olds are playing Minecraft, riding bikes, or watching YouTube videos, Justin Sather is intent on saving the planet. And it all started with a frog blanket when he was a baby.

"He carried it everywhere," Justin's mom tells us. "He had frog everything, even a frog-themed birthday party."

In kindergarten, Justin learned that frogs are an indicator species – animals, plants, or microorganisms used to monitor drastic changes in our environment. With nearly one-third of frog species on the verge of extinction due to pollution, pesticides, contaminated water, and habitat destruction, Justin realized that his little amphibian friends had something important to say.

"The frogs are telling us the planet needs our help," says Justin.

While it was his love of frogs that led him to understand how important the species are to our ecosystem, it wasn't until he read the children's book What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada that Justin-the-activist was born.

Inspired by the book and with his mother's help, he set out on a mission to raise funds for frog habitats by selling toy frogs in his Los Angeles neighborhood. But it was his frog art which incorporated scientific facts that caught people's attention. Justin's message spread from neighbor to neighbor and through social media; so much so that he was able to raise $2,000 for the non-profit Save The Frogs.

And while many kids might have their 8th birthday party at a laser tag center or a waterslide park, Justin invited his friends to the Ballona wetlands ecological preserve to pick invasive weeds and discuss the harms of plastic pollution.

Justin's determination to save the frogs and help the planet got a massive boost when he met legendary conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather

At one of her Roots and Shoots youth initiative events, Dr. Goodall was so impressed with Justin's enthusiasm for helping frogs, she challenged the young activist to take it one step further and focus on plastic pollution as well. Justin accepted her challenge and soon after was featured in an issue of Bravery Magazine dedicated to Jane Goodall.

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This article originally appeared on 06.16.15


A lot of parents are tired of being told how technology is screwing up their kids.

Moms and dads of the digital age are well aware of the growing competition for their children's attention, and they're bombarded at each turn of the page or click of the mouse with both cutting-edge ideas and newfound worries for raising great kids.

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