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'I will not have my narrative changed', says FKA Twigs after banned Calvin Klein ad

'I will not have my narrative changed', says FKA Twigs after banned Calvin Klein ad

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English singer, songwriter and dancer Tahliah Debrett Barnett, known professionally as FKA Twigs, has responded to UK advertising watchdogs for banning her Calvin Klein ad. In an Instagram post, the 35-year-old wrote, "I do not see the ‘stereotypical sexual object’ that they have labelled me."

Accompanying her Instagram post was the black and white campaign photo of her wearing an oversized denim shirt covering only half of her body, leaving one side of her buttocks and half of one breast out. 

"I see a beautiful, strong woman of colour whose incredible body has overcome more pain than you can imagine," said FKA Twigs. 

Don't miss: UK advertising watchdog bans Toyota ads for condoning environmentally harmful driving

"In light of reviewing other campaigns past and current of this nature, I can’t help but feel there are some double standards here. So, to be clear, 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," wrote FKA Twigs.

"Thank you to Calvin Klein and Mert [Alas] and Marcus [Piggott] who gave me a space to express myself exactly how I wanted to - I will not have my narrative changed."

FKA Twigs' response comes after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned the Calvin Klein ad in the UK. The organisation 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.

Following the ban, ASA said that the ad must not appear again in such form and has asked Calvin Klein to ensure future ads do not irresponsibly objectify women. 

Prior to FKA Twigs' post, Calvin Klein had reportedly told the ASA that the ad was similar to other ads they've published in the UK for many years. It argued that the images were not vulgar and was a confident and empowered woman who had chosen to identify with the brand. Calvin Klein added that the ad contained a progressive and enlightened message.  

Additionally, the brand said that as the ads were for clothing, including underwear, a degree of nudity should be expected. However, all conventionally sensitive body areas were fully covered in the ads. Calvin Klein also claimed that the style of the imagery in the ads did not encourage the public to view the model’s body as an object nor sexualising women. This is especially since the brand has ran campaigns featuring well-known men. 

Just six days ago, Calvin Klein released a Spring 2024 campaign featuring The Bear actor Jeremy Allen White. In the ad, White is seen undressing into just a pair of underwear, flexing his muscles before laying on a sofa. The campaign has since gained virality on the internet and earned praise from fans of The Bear and the 32-year-old actor. 

Join us this coming 24 - 25 April for #Content360, a two-day extravaganza centered around four core thematic pillars: Explore with AI; Insight-powered strategies; Content as an experience; and Embrace the future. Immerse yourself in learning to curate content with creativity, critical thinking, and confidence with us at Content360!

Related articles: 
Calvin Klein names BTS' Jung Kook as global brand ambassador 
Calvin Klein's IG post featuring pregnant transgender star stirs up online chatter 
HSBC's climate change ads banned by UK ad watchdog for being misleading 

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