FKA twigs Responds After Calvin Klein Ad Banned in UK for Objectifying Women

A Calvin Klein poster showing a partially undressed FKA twigs has been banned in the United Kingdom after a watchdog deemed the advertisement “likely to cause serious offence” by objectifying women, BBC News reports. The image in question depicted twigs draped in a denim shirt, revealing a side profile of her body, beneath the text “Calvins or nothing.”

Responding to two complaints filed by members of the public, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the “image’s composition placed viewers’ focus on the model’s body rather than on the clothing being advertised.” The ad “overly sexualised” FKA twigs and presented her as a “stereotypical sexual object,” the regulator added, telling Calvin Klein it should not use the image again.

In a statement Wednesday night, FKA twigs disagreed with the characterization. She wrote:

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.

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.

Speaking about the campaign with Rolling Stone last March, twigs had said the campaign images showed her as “a strong woman,” adding that she would want to show the pictures to her grandchildren. 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. In the company’s view, the poster showed an “empowered” woman advancing a “progressive and enlightened message.” Pitchfork has emailed representatives for FKA twigs and Calvin Klein for additional comment.

The ASA rejected a pair of similar complaints about Calvin Klein ads featuring Kendall Jenner, having concluded that a poster of her holding her breasts did not portray her as a “sexual object” and deeming the other acceptable by the standards of lingerie advertising.

This article was originally published on Wednesday, January 10, at 9:47 a.m. Eastern. It was last updated on Thursday, January 11, at 7:52 a.m. Eastern.