UK Bans Cara Delevingne x Tom Ford Fragrance Ad

It’s a well-circulated stereotype that Europeans have far more developed attitudes towards sexuality than here in America, but the UK has done a bang-up job of disproving that notion. A Tom Ford fragrance ad that featured a nude Cara Delevingne has just been banned for its lascivious nature.

However, the ad itself seems relatively tame to draw such stiff criticism. Delevingne is nude, but that much seems like a given considering she was photographed reclining in a bathtub, nor does it show anything specifically explicit. Nevertheless, the ad drew attention due to its billboard placement on Brick Lane in East London. Though its opponents called for its complete removal across the country for its “inappropriate” images that were “degrading to women,” a decision by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that it must only be prevented from display “within 100 meters of a school.”

Tom Ford’s spokesperson argued in the label’s statement that the advertisement in question was “sensuous, not sexual,” and even the ASA said in their summation that the ad was “not sexually suggestive but classical in nature,” yet it has nevertheless been banned. This of course seems especially ironic given Delevingne’s recent activism in the Free the Nipple movement, an advocacy cause urging women to take action on the daily censorship of their torsos which is a non-issue for men. In this Tom Ford ad, Delevingne’s nipples aren’t even free, and it still ended up being banned for its lewd nature.

This decision comes hot on the heels of a recent comprehensive banning of numerous types of pornography throughout the United Kingdom, including BDSM, spanking, and various other types of fetishes. Decency, or lack thereof, is a highly subjective matter, but one that we can’t help but point out seems to continually stem from depictions of the female body. This particular fragrance ad shows nothing explicit, is officially classified as ‘not sexual,’ and still manages to be subject to censorship, despite untold numbers of ads with similar, if not even more overt, content. Not to mention that one of the many sex acts that were banned from being produced in the British porn industry was the female ejaculation; the male counterpart is still acceptable.

For an industry that is built around perfecting the physical form of both men and women, when do things start to become inappropriate? Because so far, it only seems to be when there’s a pair of breasts involved.

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