Once again, a new sexually titillating ad campaign from Calvin Klein strikes a nerve. In New York City’s Soho neighborhood the ad, featuring a topless young woman engaged in kissing a young man while lying on top of another while yet another young man lies on the floor with his pants unbuttoned, adorns the side of an entire 5 story tall building. Some people find the ad so disgusting they are promising to boycott the jeans. The ad is so blatant one man told ABCNews, “If it were going on in the back of a parked car with steamed windows I would be arrested, yet they broadcast this to the whole city.”
Calvin Klein has a history of generating provocative ads that have caused havoc. There was the 1981 Brooke Shields ad in which she stated that nothing comes between her and her Calvins and last year, another banned ad featuring Eva Mendes exposing part of her nipple. The same photographer for controversial Abercrombie & Fitch shot the actor mark Wahlberg and Brook Shields ads. Other ads were dropped because television stations refused to air them and the FBI investigated the company for potential child pornography charges.
Younger generations have always had more tolerant views of sexuality often declaring, “the more the merrier.” One young adult even declared, "All I can see are beautiful people having a good time…It's not the advertising that makes little children confused, it's the uptight handling with sex-related issues in general of their parents."
Yet, others say it pushes the envelope and is disgusting, vile, obscene, an orgy and pornography that you cannot turn off because it is on the side of a building and not on television. This is an ad that you cannot hide from. You are walking down the street with your four year old or your ten year old and it is staring you in the face. In my opinion, it’s inappropriate and depicts a girl willing to compromise her integrity for a pair of jeans.
Is this my age speaking? Am I really that out of touch with what is going on sexually with young adults? I lived in Europe where nude television and magazine ads are common. I remember being shocked at first, but became very comfortable with it after a short time. Yet, I would not want my daughter to appear in the ad nor would I want her to experience sex without love. And, I ask, why one woman and three men? Why not one man and three women or two men and two women? Maybe it is the thought of gang rape that scares me, but she seems to be participating willingly. I am a person who loves sex, cherishes it even. I feel it is a gift we give to one another. I am also a person who has a collection of banned books because I do not believe in book banning. Now, I am second-guessing myself and asking how far am I willing to go for censorship?
Take a look for yourself and tell me what you think…