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FKA Twigs responds to Calvin Klein campaign image ban: 'double standards'

By Susan Zijp


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Credits: Woolmark Prize, Playscape by FKA Twigs

FKA Twigs has defended Calvin Klein's campaign image that has been banned in the UK. The ad was labeled "too sexualising" by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the UK's independent regulator of advertising in all media. The image shows FKA Twigs in an open denim shirt, showing the side of her buttocks and half of a breast. The accompanying text reads: "Calvins or nothing."

The ASA ruled that "the composition of the image drew viewers' attention to the model's body rather than the advertised clothing". FKA Twigs' "physical features" were "presented as a stereotypical sexual object," the institute ruled. But the star disagrees with the advertising watchdog.

In an Instagram post, she shared: "I don't see the 'stereotypical sexual object' they called me. I see a beautiful strong woman of color whose incredible body has overcome more pain than you can imagine." She also revealed that she compared the image to other campaigns. "In light of reviewing other campaigns of this type, I can't help but feel that there are double standards here," she noted.

"I am proud of my physicality" - she went on to name famous women in history who have been criticised for embracing their sensuality on screen - "and uphold the standards of women like Josephine Baker, Eartha Kitt and Grace Jones who have broken barriers."

Calvin Klein defended its ad, first seen in April last year, saying it was similar to ads they have been releasing in the UK for years. The fashion company described the British singer and dancer as a "confident and powerful woman" and stressed that she had worked with the company to produce the image and had approved it before publication.

Two people had complained that the images were "overly sexual," offensive and irresponsible because they objectify women and are inappropriately depicted.

The complaints also focused on two posters from the same campaign featuring model Kendall Jenner. But the ASA ruled that the posters did not "focus on Jenner's body in a way that portrayed her as a sexual object" and "the level of nudity was no more than one would expect for a lingerie ad."

Calvin Klein