Is there a double standard in advertising, one for white people, the other for black people? This is the impression of British singer FKA twigs, at the heart of an advertising controversy this week in the United Kingdom.
The controversy arose on Wednesday when the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority withdrew a Calvin Klein advert after receiving two complaints against it. The ad, the agency rules, presents its model – singer FKA twigs – as a “stereotypical sexual object”, and the consumer’s eye is drawn to her body, not the clothes.
On Instagram, FKA Twigs – whose father is Jamaican – said she doesn’t see the label of “stereotypical sex object” that she’s being labeled with, but rather “a strong, beautiful woman of color whose incredible body has overcome more more pain than you can imagine,” probably in reference to surgery she had for tumors in her uterus. “In light of other past and current campaigns of this nature, I can’t help but think that there are double standards here,” she adds.
The Calvin Klein advertising offensive also features actor Jeremy Allen White, star of the series The Bear, on Netflix. This week, images of the latter – also half-naked, needless to say – went viral, with internet users swooning over his defined abs.