U.K. bans FKA twigs’ Calvin Klein ad for portraying her as a ‘stereotypical sexual object’

FKA twigs’ Calvin Klein advertisement has been censored in the U.K. after people complained that the storied brand had “inappropriately sexualized” her.

Nearly a year after the British hitmaker appeared in an April 2023 Calvin Klein campaign, the United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) banned an advertisement featuring FKA twigs with a button-up shirt hanging off her shoulder, revealing the side of her breast and butt, along with a slogan that read “Calvins or nothing.”

The ASA banned FKA twigs’ ad, saying that it presented her as “a stereotypical sexual object.” Per the Guardian, two people complained about the advertisement, arguing that the “Glass & Patron” singer had been inappropriately sexualized. The ASA reviewed the complaints and found them credible, sharing a statement with the outlet that read: “The ad used nudity and centered on FKA twigs’ physical features rather than the clothing, to the extent that it presented her as a stereotypical sexual object.” It also said the “image’s composition placed viewers’ focus on the model’s body rather than on the clothing being advertised.”

The ASA further alleged that the singer’s underwear ad was “irresponsible and likely to cause serious offence.” The ruling states that the image “must not appear again” in its current form.

The two people who filed the complaint also pointed to Calvin Klein advertisements featuring Kendall Jenner, the Guardian said, but the ASA chose not to censor those images, saying she wasn’t portrayed as a sexual object and the images were an acceptable form of lingerie marketing.

In a statement shared with the outlet, Calvin Klein shot down the ASA’s ruling, saying, “The images were not vulgar and were of two confident and empowered women who had chosen to identify with the Calvin Klein brand, and the ads contained a progressive and enlightened message.” The fashion brand described the images as “natural and neutral” and said that both FKA twigs and Jenner had been collaborators in their ads.

Representatives for FKA twigs did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment.

Meanwhile, “The Bear” star Jeremy Allen White’s new Calvin Klein campaign has caused a frenzy across the internet, garnering mass attention for the Golden Globe winner — attention he doesn’t seem entirely comfortable with.

On Sunday, after White scored his second consecutive Golden Globe for the popular FX series “The Bear” — again for best actor in a television series (musical or comedy) — the actor told reporters that it was “bizarre” doing a Calvin Klein ad, and that it’s been even more bizarre having it launch the way it did.


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