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Calvin Klein, this is NOT better.

As Nikki reported yesterday, Calvin Klein had posted a “sex orgy” ad in New York’s SoHo neighborhood. Was I irked? Yes, of course, but I wasn’t as concerned by the sexual content as I was by the sexualization (the using of sexual objects) of ALL of the models, not just the woman. So when they decided to put this one

up in its place, I didn’t breathe a sigh of relief, like some of the people interviewed for other news outlets.

Calvin Klein, this isn’t better. It’s a sexualized image of a woman, drawn large on a billboard and meant for us to lust over or envy. The idea is that this will pacify the angry masses while still keeping it slightly provocative, which is Calvin Klein’s brand history. But why aren’t we all up in arms about this one? Because we are so used to this type of image — hypnotized into thinking it’s normal — of a woman in a bikini. “Sex sells” after all, and “sex” always refers to women’s sexuality, cheapened up and used for a male-dominated culture’s titillation. But post a huge image of half-nude, sexualized women with men, and everyone loses it.

By “everyone,” I mean the news media reporting on it like crack fiends and the Christian right (who may have been responsible for getting this ad taken down) getting their panties in a twist because their children are being corrupted.

So now, I’m going to call LOUDLY for the removal of this ad too. And all the ads like it. Because women deserve better.

– Jennifer

2 thoughts on “Calvin Klein, this is NOT better.

  1. hahaha I like the writing style. but you are right. i want someone to challenge me, won’t happen though.

  2. I’ll take your Not Better and raise you one: Does anyone else think this ad is actually WORSE than the original? I sure as heck do. Yeah, both ads are guided by the ever lucrative sex factor, but at least the sexuality expressed (and, naturally, exploited) in the first ad has some directionality; that is, the sexuality of the depicted female is pointed toward two, if not all, of the males in the picture. To some extent she’s active and engaged in the scene and has ostensibly chosen to receive the lusty advances of the pictured others. By contrast, the model in the replacement ad is supposed to receive the lustfulness of anyone and everyone by pure virtue of her barely dressed, glistening bikini bod. No one knows what she’s doing or thinking and no one cares – She’s sexy. And wet. And fifty feet tall. Who needs to know anything else, right?

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