GRSJ 300: Cultural Jam Assignment

“I flash in #mycalvins”

Original Advertisement

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

This advertisement is one of several showcased by the international fashion giant Calvin Klein launching the company’s Spring 2016 advertising campaign, “l _____ in #mycalvins”. The advertisement, “I flash in #mycalvins” was made public on May 9, 2016 through Instagram, captioned “Take a peek: @Karate_katia, photographed by @harleyweir for the Spring 2016 advertising campaign. #mycalvins”. Calvin Klein is historically known throughout the international fashion industry for its controversial, sexually explicit and suggestive advertisement campaigns. There is a long history of Calvin Klein using celebrity influence, paired with and sexual appeal to sell the brand, as depicted in this advertisement. It can be assumed that this advertisement has been curated to promote Calvin Klein women’s underwear. The text “I flash in #mycalvins” depicts the purpose of the imagery displayed in this advertisement. Calvin Klein is said to have given autonomy to the individuals photographed, in completing the statement “I _____ in #mycalvins” that accompany’s the image displayed in each advertisement. However, “I flash in #mycalvins” suggests a exploitative approach to advertising. Actor, Klara Kristin is photographed with the intent of corresponding with it’s caption “I flash in #mycalvins”. In this #mycalvins advertisement we initially see a up a woman’s dress/slip, bare thighs shoulder-width apart, exposing her vaginal area. This photograph was shot from a low-angle, angling upwards, under the women’s dress/slip exposing her underwear, dress/slip covered torso, face and hair. The focal point of this image, the part of the photograph that naturally engages the eye of its viewers is the women’s underwear covered, vaginal area. We can assume that this image was curated with the intention of purposefully highlight actor, Karla Kristin’s vagina. Calvin Klein’s branding is minimally displayed through the underwear photographed in this advertisement. The underwear showcased in this advertisement does not contain the company’s symbolistic “CK” branding, like other advertisements in this series/campaign. The “I flash in #mycalvins” advertisement, as well as other advertisements in this series/campaign by Calvin Klein. The sexualization of their advertisements, explicit and suggestive in nature overpower the purpose and existence of advertising. To sell a product/brand. Calvin Klein continues to endorse and promote their brand on the foundation that ‘sex sells’, through the exploitation of celebrity.

Jammed Advertisement

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

The original version of this advertisement read “I flash in #mycalvins”, I edited the quote for the jammed version of this advertisement to read “I am sexually exploited in #mycalvins”. The substitution of the word “flash” with “sexual exploitation” brings a dimension of depth and meaning to this advertisement that is not originally depicted. The use of “sexual exploitation” in this advertisement highlights the message transparently conveyed. The purposeful word choice used in the jammed version of this advertisement have been edited to showcase the deeper meaning behind the initially curated advertisement. The alteration of the advertisement “I am sexually exploited in #mycalvins” highlights the sexually explicit nature of the original version of this Calvin Klein advertisement, and the lack of brand/product promotion. Foundationally, the product being questionably promoted in this advertisement is women’s underwear. A Calvin Klein product meant to be worn by women is curating it’s advertisements and advertisement campaigns targeted at a male audience. The nature of this advertisement is suggestively misogynistic, provocative and hyper-sexualized, conveying the message that sex sells. The original “I flash in #mycalvins” advertisement perpetuates is a distorted perception of sexual exploitation, one that is validated by the endorsement and promotion of international industry giant, Clavin Klein. Awareness of a pervasive social justice issue such as sexual exploitation is important and should not be minimized or discounted through advertising, as seen in the “I flash in #mycalvins” advertisement.


CALVIN KLEIN (@calvinklein) • Instagram photos and videos. (2016, May 09). Retrieved February 12, 2018, from