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Tyred out: Natural aging and aesthetic labor in Pirelli's 2017 calendar

Katrina Pritchard Orcid Logo, Rebecca Whiting Orcid Logo

Gender, Work and Organization

Swansea University Author: Katrina Pritchard Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.1111/gwao.12849

Abstract

We review how natural aging is constructed in contemporary media discourse by examining coverage of the 2017 Pirelli calendar. While highly digitized and provocative representations of youthfulness might be readily associated with this calendar, the 2017 edition featured actors aged 28–71, shot in b...

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Published in: Gender, Work and Organization
ISSN: 0968-6673 1468-0432
Published: Wiley 2022
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa59780
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Abstract: We review how natural aging is constructed in contemporary media discourse by examining coverage of the 2017 Pirelli calendar. While highly digitized and provocative representations of youthfulness might be readily associated with this calendar, the 2017 edition featured actors aged 28–71, shot in black and white with limited makeup and apparently no digitization. As older women we reflexively examine this exposure of how women might age naturally; and discursively unpack tensions surrounding understandings of beauty and empowerment across media coverage. We suggest the Pirelli calendar is a complex media production, with impact that extends far beyond the product itself, spreading through the economic system and connecting tyres to art in the process. We progress understandings of aesthetic labor across the lifecourse, offer further development of the beauty and empowerment tensions embedded in the aesthetics of natural aging and explain how natural aging facilitates a multi-layered process of binding.
Keywords: age; beauty; digitalization; aesthetic labor; qualitative research
College: School of Management