FKA twigs Responds to Banned Calvin Klein Ad: "I Can't Help but Feel Like There Are Some Double Standards Here"

A UK watchdog banned images from the campaign, ruling that they were "likely to cause serious offence" by "objectifying women"

Photo: Matthew Stone

BY Kaelen BellPublished Jan 11, 2024

A Calvin Klein poster that features a partially clothed FKA twigs has been banned in the United Kingdom after a watchdog ruled that the ad was "likely to cause serious offence" by "objectifying women."

UPDATE (1/11, 9:19 a.m. ET): twigs has responded to the banning of the ad, pointing out the "double standards" of other Calvin Klein ads being permissible (i.e., Jeremy Allen White's recent one that Ayo Edebiri doesn't want to talk about). "I do not see the 'stereotypical sexual object' that they have labelled me," the artist wrote on Instagram, re-sharing the poster. "I see a beautiful strong woman of colour whose incredible body has overcome more pain than you can imagine."

twigs added, "I am proud of my physicality and hold the art i create with my 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."


A post shared by FKA twigs (@fkatwigs)

As reported by the BBC, the "Calvins or Nothing" ad has twigs posing with a large, open denim shirt draped over her nude body, exposing her side profile. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) claims to have received two complaints from members of the public, agreeing that the "composition placed viewers' focus on the model's body rather than on the clothing being advertised." 

According to the ASA, the ad "overly sexualized" FKA twigs and presented her as a "stereotypical sexual object," warning Calvin Klein that it shouldn't use the image in the future.

FKA twigs talked about the campaign back in March in a chat with Rolling Stone, saying that the campaign showed her as "a strong woman" and that she'd want to show the pictures to her grandchildren someday — it must be jarring to be told that images you're proud of present you as a "stereotypical sexual object." 

In response to the ASA complaints, Calvin Klein argued that some nudity should be expected in underwear ads and that the "sensitive body areas" were covered. Echoing twigs's sentiment, the company's view said the poster showed an "empowered" woman advancing a "progressive and enlightened message." 

You can see the campaign images below. 

A post shared by Calvin Klein (@calvinklein)

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