Calvin Klein’s New Upskirt Ad Is Filling Everyone With Rage, And Yeah, That’s Fair

You’d be hard-pressed to click around a street style blog without s-Tumblr-ing across a lithe millennial sporting overalls with #HerCalvins peaking out. Save for Calvin Klein’s recent campaign featuring Justin Bieber in all his cheese-grater, treasure trail glory, and another one promoting hookup culture, CK has done wonders of celebrating the human body, depending where on the body positivity spectrum you stand. They’ve devoted the majority of their marketing efforts in recent months towards their lingerie division. So of course they’re using the human body as a tool to sell a product. The term “objectifying” is a gross understatement, but their 3.6 million social media follower boost after J. Biebs’ CK endorsement is a testament to the fact that, whether we like it or not, we’re responding. Abs, I can reluctantly tolerate (gimme a Real Body, please?). Their latest advertising venture, however, is by and large their worst offense yet.

The ubiquitous athleisure clothing company has taken things way too far with their recent upskirt campaign, according to Business Insider. A photo posted to Calvin Klein’s Instagram features a shot of a woman looking down at the camera. Her underwear is in full view under a short flowy dress. The bold emblazoned caption reads: “I flash in #mycalvins” inviting consumers to fill in their own blanks. (In place of “flash” this year, the campaign read more subtle terms like “eat” and “pose.”) If their most recent rendition doesn’t send chills down your spine — the bad kind, like when a stranger breaths down the back of your neck on the subway and asks you what kind of shampoo you use and that you look like his ex/dead/estranged wife — I can’t help you.

Take a peek: @karate_katia, photographed by @harleyweir for the Spring 2016 advertising campaign. #mycalvins

A photo posted by Calvin Klein (@calvinklein) on

Despite the backlash they’ve garnered over the year for their provocative ads, it seems there’s no limit to how far Calvin Klein will push the sexual envelope. The ad comes as a sickening reminder of the lengths to which women resort just to reclaim some modicum of autonomy over their bodies. In recent events, up skirting has just served as another way in which it’s been robbed from us. Finally, however, the law is recognizing it as a real offense. Massachusetts legislature responded to a landmark 2010 up skirting scandal involving Michael Robertson snapping photos of women’s underwear on the subway by criminalizing the very act Calvin Klein is celebrating. While most of the country hasn’t firmly established bans on the horrifying act, hopefully other states will follow suit.

Granted, the model in question appears to be consenting to this act of voyeurism. But she was paid to do it. Real life doesn’t work that way. Women shouldn’t have to fear for their privacy when wearing a skirt on the subway. Women shouldn’t have to believe their self-worth is firmly tied to the type of intimate photos they take of themselves. And marketing like this is completely regressive in our collective effort to make women feel in complete ownership of their bodies.

Abs, I can reluctantly tolerate, but this proves nothing is truly sacred anymore.