Calvin Klein is no stranger to controversy when it comes to his ad campaigns. Even if you don’t remember 15 year old Brooke Shields telling the world “Nothing gets between me and my Calvins,” you’ve certainly heard the line. In the 90s, his heroin chic ads prompted President Clinton to speak out against the brand for glamorizing drug use. His latest campaign has resulted in a petition asking that the campaign be suspended. This time, it’s not drugs that are purported to be glamorized, rather, it’s sexual harassment.
The above photo of model Klara Kristin is what prompted the petition, although there are other photos of celebrities and models posing in underwear and filling in the blank of what they do in their Calvins.
Up-skirting is a growing trend of sexual harassment where pictures are taken up a woman’s skirt without her knowledge, or without her consent. Not only is this activity a crime in many states like New York, Washington, Florida, and more, but it is also a disturbing breach of privacy and public trust. By normalizing and glamorizing this sexual harassment, Calvin Klein is sending a message that the experiences of real-life victims don’t matter, and that it is okay for men to treat the woman standing next to them on the metro as available pornography whenever they so choose.
While some refer to the ad campaign as scandalous, others refer to it as empowering. More on both side of the argument here. What do you think?