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FKA Twigs Assails ‘Double Standard’ After Calvin Klein Ad Banned in Britain

FKA Twigs Calvin Klein

Photo Credit: Bobo Boom / CC by 2.0

After a British advertising watchdog banned FKA Twigs’ Calvin Klein ad in the country, the singer is calling out double standards.

The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned the ad saying the artist is depicted as a “stereotypical sexual object” in the advertisement. The ad features a picture of FKA Twigs in a denim shirt that’s draped across her body, which the ASA describes as “leaving the side of her buttocks and half of one breast exposed.” The text for the ad declares ‘Calvins or nothing.’

After the ASA made the decision to ban the ad, FKA Twigs took to Instagram to express her dismay at the ruling—especially considering past Calvin Klein ads.

“I do not see the ‘stereotypical sexual object’ that they have labelled me,” the artist begins. “I see a beautiful strong woman of color whose incredible body has overcome more pain than you can imagine. In light of reviewing other campaigns, past and current, of this nature, I can’t help but feel there are some double standards here.”

The artist cites some of the women who inspire her, including 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.” FKA Twigs also thanked the Calvin Klein photographers who worked on her ad campaign for capturing her beauty.

The ASA regulates advertising in Great Britain and says it received two complaints about the poster, and another separate Calvin Klein ad featuring Kendall Jenner. The complaints alleged the images are “offensive and irresponsible because they objectify women.” In response to the ban, Calvin Klein said the advertising is no different than ads it has run in the UK over the past several decades.

“The ad used nudity and centered on FKA Twigs’ physical features rather than the clothing, to the extend that it presented her as a stereotypical sexual object,” a statement from the ASA reads. The ASA says the ad’s composition “placed viewers’ focus on the model’s body rather than the clothes being advertised.” The Kendall Jenner ad was not found to violate ASA standards, while the FKA Twigs ad will have to be modified.

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