As passionate voices in the world of fashion I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue, so please let me know what you think about the campaign and the controversy by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post.
This is not the first Calvin Klein advert to be banned, but it is the first that has left me in two minds. Australia has, effectively, banned Calvin Klein’s highly sexualised Autumn / Winter 2010 campaign. A simple enough concept of course; every society (that is, the majority of the public and not the government) has a right to decide what kind of imagery is shown on its billboards and on its TVs. That’s what part of me knows and agrees with. So if the majority of Australians decided this campaign was simply too sexualised, that they didn’t want public, albeit fictional, displays of threesomes, then I might call them out of touch, out of date, but I’d respect their right to make such a decision.
But this campaign hasn’t been banned for promoting sexuality, promiscuity, or sexual exploration. It hasn’t even been banned for being too liberal or for being in ‘bad taste’, as some pundits have described it. No, it’s been banned for glamourising rape and violence.
And that’s the part I disagree with. And it’s also the part I’m unsure of. Because I, like you, have been privy to the entire campaign. I know the sex depicted in it is far from gang rape. Extreme, in the sense that it’s a public threesome or perhaps even an orgy, yes. Rape, no. Violent, no. Unless of course the violence is supermodel Lara Stone‘s pushing of one of the men depicted in the scenario up against the fence as a part of the tryst. Or the fact that she also rips her top off.
So that’s where it rests. Banned. And confusingly so. Or at least, confusing for me. I know the context. I’ve seen the entire campaign, and thus I don’t read into the above picture (or any of the pictures from the campaign) as being violent or glamourising rape. Perhaps I’m wrong in that, and that’s where my confusion lies.
Peruse through the pictures from the campaign by clicking on the thumbnails below, and if you have an opinion on whether or not this glamourises violence and rape, or whether or not it should be seen in public, feel free to leave a comment below.