‘Double standards’: FKA twigs defends banned semi-nude Calvin Klein advert

FKA twigs has come to the defense of a Calvin Klein advertisement in which she starred, a campaign recently banned by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The poster showcased the singer draped in a shirt across her partially nude body. The ASA, responding to two public complaints, contended that the ad portrayed her as a “stereotypical sexual object” and asserted that the composition drew attention to the model’s body rather than the advertised clothing. Calvin Klein defended the pose as “natural and neutral,” insisting the campaign conveyed a “progressive and enlightened message.”

FKA twigs has responded to the ban with a statement on Instagram:

In her response, FKA twigs likely alluded to the ongoing men’s Calvin Klein underwear campaign featuring US actor Jeremy Allen White. White, muscular and clad only in boxer briefs, has garnered significant attention on social media. A glowing New Yorker essay characterizes the photoshoot, which reveals more skin than twigs’ image, as a reflection of our current historical moment—a period marked by thwarted pleasures and simmering desires.

Twigs’ mention of overcoming pain encompasses her 2017 surgery to remove six fibroid tumors from her uterus. Describing the tumors as “the size of two cooking apples, three kiwis, and a couple of strawberries,” she revealed the ordeal as a daily “fruit bowl of pain.” The surgery was challenging, leading her to question if her body would ever regain its former feel, ultimately impacting her confidence as a woman.

While two complainants objected to the FKA twigs ad, they also raised concerns about two Calvin Klein ads featuring model Kendall Jenner. However, the ASA did not ban these, arguing that one did not excessively sexualize Jenner, and the other aligned with typical lingerie advertising standards.

Double standards’: FKA twigs defends banned semi-nude Calvin Klein advert
Detail from FKA twigs’ banned Calvin Klein advert. Photograph: ASA/PA

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