I objectify in #mycalvins

by DucksOnQuack9898 on September 26, 2016 - 3:19pm

In late March 2016, Calvin Klein ran an ad campaign that was labelled by many as sexist. The slogan for the ad was “I _____ in my calvins.” It was run with many variations such as “I star in my calvins” and “I make money in my Calvins.” It was one particular ad that was seen as a direct example of sexism. It features Klara Kristin, an actress who appeared in controversial movies such as “Love.” She appears sitting on a couch wearing a transparent dress, legs spread, with the slogan “I seduce in my Calvins.” This ad is problematic because it objectifies women and defines an unobtainable standard of beauty. Photoshop was most likely used to have this ad perfected for public appearance. Calvin Klein received a lot of repercussion for this ad to the point where they were forced to take it down from their billboard in SoHo, New York.     

            The ad was posted alongside a similar Calvin Klein ad following the same theme as the other. The difference between the two is instead of Klara Kristin, it was Fetty Wap. The slogan for this ad was “I make money in my Calvins.” This sends a specific gender message that men are supposed to be powerful and make money to support their families. Women on the other hand are supposed to be beautiful, seduce a man, and hope that he is wealthy and will be able to support them for the rest of their lives.

If this is the message being conveyed by a beautiful and influential model such as Klara Kristin as well as a major corporation in the clothing industry, young girls will be influenced to believe this as truth which can cause problems. For example, as a result the self-esteem, and confidence as well as physical disorders such as anorexia. Seeing this photo shopped model in an ad for a major company would standardize the definition of beauty to impossible limits even for the models in the advertisements.

This ad is essentially defining woman as they were in the 1950’s, housewives and nothing more. In order to progress forward we as a society need to move on from ideologies like this one. This is something feminists are fighting for, equality, something that should be standard in a first world country. All that needs to be done are small fixes to the original ad.

            For starters, closing her legs is a good start. It is unnecessary as the transparent blouse is enough to convey a seducing message. When a girl has her legs spread like that she is often seen as a slut therefore posing in that manner is not healthy for anyone especially the young girls being influenced to sit like this. Secondly, the slogan should be changed from seduce to something less sexually suggestive, such as “I chill in my Calvins.” This would change the message to something less suggestive. As a result young girls will not end up with mental and physical issues.

            In my opinion these advertisements are incredibly concerning. Calvin Klein and other companies are relying on sexual imagery to sell clothing and other products simply because sex sells. They should be relying on the quality and usefulness of their products.



Chapin, Adele. “Calvin Klein Under Fire for Sexist Billboard.” Racked, Racked, 18 Mar. 2016,             http://www.racked.com/2016/3/18/11260814/calvin-klein-underwear-ad-sexis....



Hi DucksOnQuack9898,
thanks for your statement! I really agree with your key message on the Calvin Klein advertisement. That Calvin Klein uses a half-naked female model to portrait seductiveness next to the portrait of a male rapper as the money maker is sexist and provokes gender stereotypes. For the woman there is also the whole body shown, while they only show the man’s face, which objectifies her. To me, the key problem in this advertisement lies in the contrast of the male and female version right next to each other.

To add to your idea on how you would change the advertisement: Making the female version less sexually suggestive is a good idea. But when you say it is not appropriate for a girl to pose with her legs spread, because someone could see her as a slut, you are only restricting woman on how they should be like. Like you said, feminism is about equality and enable woman to do what they want to do. If a man would act in that pose, I guess no one would have been concerned.