Why the fuss over Calvin Klein ads?

Story highlights

  • Recent Calvin Klein advertising campaign featuring shot of Klara Kristin has caused controversy
  • Peggy Drexler: What if the photos are just photos, neither empowering nor degrading?

Peggy Drexler is the author of "Our Fathers, Ourselves: Daughters, Fathers, and the Changing American Family" and "Raising Boys Without Men." She is an assistant professor of psychology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and a former gender scholar at Stanford University. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN)Calvin Klein has been taking a lot of heat for its latest ad campaign, a "racy" series of images shot by female photographer Harley Weir and posted to the brand's Instagram account, with a message asking consumers to reveal what they do in their Calvins.

There's actress Klara Kristin, standing over the camera in a skirt and underwear, "flashing" in her Calvins. There's Kendall Jenner, holding a grapefruit many have likened to a vagina, the accompanying text reading, "I eat in my Calvins." There are hands down pants, exposed butt cracks, crotch shots. There's Justin Bieber, Bieber-ing in his Calvins.
    Some have argued the photos are "sexual and empowering," a body-positive feminist manifesto. Others have claimed that they're creepy and disgusting -- "risky and offensive," according to the New York Daily News. ABC News went so far as to title its segment on the controversy "Fashion Porn?" And the accusation that Calvin Klein is peddling pedophilia has also come up. Some suggest the photos are exploiting the models, as if anyone got into modeling not expecting to be looked at. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has, meanwhile, circulated a petition asking Calvin Klein to "Stop Normalizing and Glamorizing Sexual Harassment."