by Je_Wm on September 26, 2016 - 8:08pm
In this Calvin Klein advertisement, Fetty Wap’s face can be seen with the slogan “I make money in #mycalvins.” (Calvin Klein Slammed For 'Sexist' NYC Billboard [VIDEO]) Similarly, Klara Kristin’s body can be seen in see through clothing with the slogan “I seduce in #mycalvins.” (Calvin Klein Slammed For 'Sexist' NYC Billboard [VIDEO]). The company is using his face and her body to sell their product which is undergarments for both men and women. The slogans used in this advertisement are a demonstration of women being “depicted as sexual objects or sexual agents” (Cortese 10). The brand is pushing the idea that women are supposed to try to seduce men while men are supposed to try to make money. Another issue with this advertisement is the celebrity endorsements the company chose for it. Fetty Wap is a famous rapper who has released many popular songs in recent years, while Klara Kristin is a relatively unknown actress. In using Fetty Wap to sell their product, the brand is using his fame. Klara Kristin was used for this advertisement to simply show her body as she is very slim. Calvin Klein is pushing “the cultural assumption that men are dominant and women are passive and subordinate” (Cortese 10), through placing the importance on Klara Kristin’s body and Fetty Wap’s fame and success. The brand is not showing the reason that Klara is famous and is using her as a mannequin rather than the celebrity endorsement she is.
In showing men and women in this light, Calvin Klein is showing women what’s important for them, to be seductive, and is showing men what’s important for them, to be successful. This is an example of how women are being objectified. This common thought of women being objects is harmful to both women and girls alike. When young girls are bombarded with advertisements showing them that the objectification of women is ok, some will begin to perceive themselves as an object for male pleasure (Cortese 12). Young girls are being shown absurd physical standards that, they believe they are expected to live by (Cortese 12). Klara Kristin is unnaturally thin in the photo in the advertisement, and she is being depicted as desirable, beautiful and seductive. Girls who see can believe that to be beautiful, they must be paper thin. This can give rise to eating disorders in young girls and women. Another way this ad is dangerous is that by showing the woman as nothing more than an object, young girls see there is no need for them to have a drive to be successful as they simply need to be seductive to do well in life (Calvin Klein Slammed For 'Sexist' NYC Billboard [VIDEO]). These ideas are very harmful to girls well being and should not be pushed upon them.
There are many things wrong with this advertisement, namely; the slogan on the photo of Klara Kristin and the photo of her itself. One possible way to render this advertisement less harmful would be to show the face of a famous woman alongside that of Fetty Wap. Klara Kristin is not a very well known actress and therefor, would not be a strong enough celebrity endorsement, the brand was using her for her body not her name. A photograph of a well known female celebrity next to Fetty Wap would be more impactful, as they would both be used for their name and success rather than appearance. In addition, the slogan across both faces could be “I make money in #mycalvins” (Calvin Klein Slammed For 'Sexist' NYC Billboard [VIDEO]), as with a more well known and successful celebrity, it would show success on both the man and woman’s side. It is not necessary to show the undergarments as Calvin Klein uses the hashtag, #mycalvins, only for it’s underwear department. The photograph of Fetty Wap alongside a famous female celebrity would put men and women on an equal platform, showing that they are both successful people. This would also make the advertisement less objectifying towards women and would show women there is more to work towards than attaining the unattainable beauty standards of the world we live in.
In our modern society, the objectification of women in advertising is a far too common issue. This leads to many issues surrounding beauty standards, such as eating disorders or lack of self confidence. Our society should begin promoting the success of women rather than the seductiveness.
Calvin Klein Slammed For 'Sexist' NYC Billboard [VIDEO]. Digital image. HNGN. HNGN, 22 Mar.
2016. Web. 20 Sept. 2016.
Cortese, Anthony. "Constructed Bodies, Deconstructing Ads: Sexism in Advertising." Provocateur: Images of Women and Minorities in Advertising(2008): 57-89. Rpt. in Gendered World Views Course Pack. Comp. Sarah Waurechen. N.p.: Eastman Systems, 2016. 9-25. Print.