The 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
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The latent sexism of the male marriage proposal
- Bush vs. Clinton in 2016 is the perfect way to make millennials hate politics even more
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- Don't blame Chuck Hagel: Obama's foreign policy has been a disaster from end to end
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- Alien conspiracy theorists think the government is on the verge of spilling big secrets
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
Subscribe to the Week