A picture of Loren’s shoot that ran in Milan’s Corriere della Sera newspaper showed her in lingerie under a bed sheet with two photographers standing over her.
Despite Pirelli’s denials that Loren posed nude, Italian personalities have felt compelled to comment on the idea.
"Sophia Loren is an icon, she is an eternal woman. She can do anything," actress Valeria Marini told Corriere della Sera on Wednesday.
People Magazine called her, in 1999, "one of the world’s most stunning and age-resistant women". Really, from a feminist or indeed any point of view, this stuff is irrelevant, but I liked that last, it makes her sound like a tin of Ronseal (does she also resist rain? How is she in other weather conditions?) Female nudity (which my prudish spellcheck just tried to change to "untidy", how weird) tends to generate conclusions that spin way beyond its significance.
Whitehorn notes that while Loren still looks stunning, the world tends not to be well-disposed towards others above a certain age looking to flaunt their goods:
[I]n Italy, a few years ago, some eccentric man suggested that older women should be banned from going topless on the beach, on the grounds that they looked awful – what he got, as I recall, was the appropriate response from women that men with pot bellies should not appear, on the beach or anywhere else, ever, in swimming trunks.
In what has always been an unpredictable career, nothing has been as surprising or as welcome as her recent emergence in modest French films as a woman of her own age, with a sex life and romantic longings as steady as those of, say, Kate Bosworth. Just more interesting.
And at the New York Times, Stephen Farber discusses how the 50+ age bracket has traditionally been totally ignored by Hollywood, but that niche films, including "Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont," "Boynton Beach Club," and "Ladies in Lavender," have had great success targeting older viewers.
But of course, we’re all about youth, youth, youth these days. Many are reading this year’s list of 120 invitees to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as an attempt at bringing the average AMPAS age down from geriatric levels â€” it includes Dakota Fanning (!), the "Brokeback" boys, Amy Adams, Keira Knightley and Joaquin Phoenix, along with relative fogies Werner Herzog and Hayao Miyazaki. A neat list, though we doubt it’s going to bring young’uns rushing back to watch the Oscar broadcast.
+ Sophia Loren poses for Pirelli Calendar (Reuters)
+ Body politics (Guardian)
+ Old age exposed (Guardian)
+ It took her 60 years to get there, but Charlotte has reached her prime (Independent)
+ Hollywood Awakens to the Geriatric Demographic (NY Times)
+ Out with the ‘old guys’ as Academy woos Ledger and Gyllenhaal (Guardian)