he image: Calvin Klein ads and controversy go together like jeans and T-shirts, and the company's latest act of indiscretion, plastered on billboards throughout Sydney and Melbourne, drew dozens of complaints for its alleged depiction of sexual assault. (See image below.) Supermodel Lara Stone was shown wearing mere scraps of clothing, as three pencil-thin men — incidentally clad in jeans — appear to rough her up and pull her hair.
The reaction: Australia's Advertising Standards Bureau has ordered that the billboards be taken down, concluding that the image demeans women by "suggesting that [Stone] is a plaything of these men." ("Yeah, well, so is the fashion industry," quips Gawker's Hamilton Nolan.) When I look at this image, says Lauren Rosewarne at the Australian Broadcasting blog Unleashed, "I see stock standard fashion photography. Rape? Violence? No. No matter how hard I squint my eyes." To view it in that light "presupposes consent is absent." See the full image for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- If a nuclear bomb exploded in downtown Washington, what should you do?
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- There's a number of reasons the grammar of this headline could infuriate you
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How to be more satisfied with your life, according to science
- The contentious policy at the heart of Cliven Bundy's armed standoff with the government
- How to flirt, according to science
- The Warren Buffett formula: How you can get smarter
- This Japanese toilet should make Americans very worried
Subscribe to the Week