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FKA Twigs ‘Calvins or Nothing’ Calvin Klein Ad Ban Partially Reversed

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A British advertising standards authority has partially reversed a controversial decision banning a Calvin Klein advertisement featuring singer/dancer FKA Twigs. According to the BBC, after the performer criticized the Advertising Standards Authority for “double standards” in claiming the image of the partially nude artist presented her as a “stereotypical sexual object,” the agency announced that it had rolled back portions of the ban.



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The statement from the ASA said that after a review the agency reversed the original decision, concluding that the image was not sexually explicit. In January, the ASA blocked the ad because, it said at the time, it “placed viewers focus on the model’s body rather than on the clothing being advertised.”

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Though the ASA walked back the total embargo, it remains banned from display in places where children might see it. The BBC reported that the ASA launched an investigation into the ad in response to two complaints about the poster, in which FKA Twigs posed wearing a shirt that only partially covered her body, exposing the side of one buttock and a small portion of one breast with the tagline “Calvins or nothing.”

The original ban came around the time when a viral CK underwear ad featuring The Bear star Jeremy Allen White drew worldwide attention for a nearly nude image of the actor in just a pair of tight white briefs. The BBC also reported at the time that the ASA said it had received three complaints about the Jeremy Allen White adds, one related to a magazine ad and two about a TV version, though those ads did not appear to be the subject of any restrictions.

At the time of the original ban, Twigs railed against what she said was a double-standard. “i do not see the ‘stereotypical sexual object’ that they have labelled me,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “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,” in the post that featured the banned black-and-white photo. “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.”

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