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Armani Junior Ad Too Controversial?
A Giorgio Armani Junior advertisement may be the next fashion ad to spark a heated debate. The ad, which features a little girl in a bikini top and shorts, has caught the attention of the Spanish authorities who are questioning whether the picture depicts the child in a sexually inappropriate way.
The investigation into the ad began days after Dolce and Gabbana were forced to withdraw their racy "fantasy rape" ad from circulation. The chief of Madrid's regional government child protection said he will be asking the advertising industry self-regulator to decide if the image should be pulled.
Reportedly, the ad, which can be viewed on the Armani website, has compelled several parents to complain. Arturo Canalda, head of child interests in Madrid said, "It's an advert where little girls aren't portrayed in the attitude of little girls...They are wearing make- up and they are about six or seven."
In response to the controversy, Armani's camp issued this email statement: "The matter will be reviewed once complete information has been received concerning the specific complaint."
In the midst of such controversy, and enforced censorship, where is the line drawn; who decides what's art and what's inappropriate?
The ad, which women's rights groups call a "fantasy rape," features a lone woman in a prone position being held down by a shirt-less man while a group of men looks on. While D&G is known for their racy ad campaigns, many women's groups think this photo has gone too far and that it promotes violence against women.
In the U.S, the ad ran in the March issue of Esquire and it promted this response from Kim Gandy, President of the National Organization for Women: "...the idea that even a stylized image of rape appeals to a broad readership of men is disturbing."
Dolce & Gabbana insist that the ad was never meant to be controversial and that it represented an erotic dream; a sexual game.
The timing for the ad's release couldn't have been worse; Spain was in the midst of dealing with a large wave of crimes against women at the time of publication, and public outrage over the image was high.
Earlier this week, after demands from the Spanish government and Italian senators, Dolce and Gabbana decided to withdraw the ads from all publications.
The debate rages over whether or not this image represents an artistic interpretation of a sexual fantasy, or if it just glorifies rape. As the fashion industry continues to push the envelope and strives to remain cutting edge the line between risque and offensive continues to blur.
So, just how far is too far?
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