FKA Twigs Calls Out ‘Double Standards’ After Banned Calvin Klein Ad

“I do not see the ‘stereotypical sexual object’ that they have labeled me.”

(Lionel Hahn/Getty Images)

British pop star FKA Twigs is accusing the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) of having double standards after the regulatory body decided to ban her latest Calvin Klein ad.

As Variety points out, the ad in question features the “Tears in the Club” singer partially wrapped in a denim shirt with most of the right side of her body exposed.

The ASA’s assessment of the ad reads, “FKA Twigs’ buttocks and breast were exposed, and her shirt was draped over one shoulder and drawn halfway across her body… the ad used nudity and centred on FKA Twig’s physical features rather than the clothing, to the extent that it presented her as a stereotypical sexual object. We therefore concluded ad (a) was irresponsible and likely to cause serious offence.”

“Her nudity and facial expression, including a direct gaze and open mouth, gave the image an overall sexual overture. We therefore considered ad (a) was overtly sexual and was not suitable for display in an untargeted medium.”

The ASA reportedly banned the ad based on the complaints of only two people who said the the image was “overly sexualized.” Twigs responded to the ASA’s assessment and ruling on Instagram, writing, “i do not see the ‘stereotypical sexual object’ that they have labelled me. i see a beautiful strong woman of colour whose incredible body has overcome more pain than you can imagine.”

She continued, “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. thank you to ck and mert and marcus who gave me a space to express myself exactly how i wanted to – i will not have my narrative changed.”

Calvin Klein defended Twigs’ position, characterizing her poses were “natural and neutral.” “The images were not vulgar and were of two confident and empowered women who had chosen to identify with the Calvin Klein brand, and the ads contained a progressive and enlightened message.”

Many are in agreement with Twigs and Calvin Klein, with one Twitter user implicitly pointing out that The Bear star Jeremy Allen White’s underwear ad for the fashion label is no more or less sexual.

Model Maya Stepper encouraged Twigs in the comments section of the her Instagram post, writing, “Stay proud, we got your back!” Musicians Soko the Cat and Mattiel Brown were similarly supportive, with the latter adding, “I see discipline in this photo. Many many years of discipline and thoughtful caretaking of the self.”