FKA Twigs’ Defends Her Banned Calvin Klein ‘Sexual Object’ Ad
FKA Twigs’ Calvin Klein advertisement is being censored in the U.K. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an ad featuring the “cellophane” singer wearing a denim shirt draped around her and exposing the right side of her nude body. The ASA claimed that the “image’s composition placed viewers’ focus on the model’s body rather than on the clothing being advertised” and that her “physical features” had “presented her as a stereotypical sexual object.” The organization added, “We therefore concluded the ad was irresponsible and likely to cause serious offense.” Roping in model Kendall Jenner‘s CK ads, the ASA found both campaigns to be objectifying women and inappropriate for display in an “untargeted medium.” However, for Jenner’s ads, the ASA concluded that they “were unlikely to be seen as irresponsible or cause serious or widespread offense on the basis of objectification.”
Twigs, whose real name is Tahliah Debrett Barnett, took to Instagram on Wednesday (January 10) following the ASA ban. She wrote in the caption: “i do not see the ‘stereotypical sexual object’ that they have labelled me. i see a beautiful strong woman of color whose incredible body has overcome more pain than you can imagine.” The singer called out past and current campaigns that are just as risqué and have not been banned as hers has. 36-year-old Twigs adds that she feels there are “double standards” in play with her ad. She further stated in her caption how she proudly holds her “vessel” to the standards of women like Josephine Baker, Eartha Kitt, and Grace Jones, “who broke down barriers of what it looks like to be empowered and harness a unique embodied sensuality.” She concluded by standing her ground, writing, “I will not have my narrative changed.”
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In the comments section, one fan wrote: “So frustrating to see your name + objectifying women in the same headline.. nonsense As if your art hasn’t empowered a lot of us women to embrace our uniqueness and let go of shame.” Another said: “The double standard is beyond. my feed has been ppl foaming over the sexual objectiveness of the jeremy allen whites campaign.” One person praised Twigs’ pose, writing: “I see discipline in this photo. Many many years of discipline and thoughtful caretaking of the self.” Another person commented: “Well said, they’re perfectly happy to keep the images of submissive sexuality but a strong, powerful woman is too much for them. Love u.”
Calvin Klein defended the ad in a statement, claiming her poses were “natural and neutral.” For being a “progressive” brand, Calvin Klein stood by the two “confident and empowered women.” They further provided excerpts from interviews that Jenner and FKA Twigs had given to magazines about the ad campaign as evidence that they felt a sense of empowerment and confidence from participating in it. Regarding the level of nudity in the ads, CK said their clothes include underwear, so a degree of nudity should be expected.