Let’s be honest: Calvin Klein is no stranger to controversial ads. So it might come as no surprise that they chose to do something, well, a little edgy for Mother's Day.
Per the brand's Instagram post, the goal of the company’s Mother’s Day campaign was to support women and mothers all over the world – and spotlight the realities of new families. Which sounds pretty standard – except that one of the couples highlighted, Roberto and Erika, is transgender (translation: Roberto is the pregnant one). In the campaign images, Roberto looks male (he has a beard and body hair) – but also has a visibly pregnant stomach.
As you can probably imagine, the ad caused an explosion of controversy.
Supporters applauded the brand for highlighting different types of motherhood, calling it "anti-exclusivity."
Opponents, on the other hand, derided the images – saying things like, "Goodbye Calvin Klein," "No longer purchasing this brand," and "A denial of biology is a denial of women's rights."
Calvin Klein isn’t the first brand to lean into the ongoing controversy around gender. As part of its recent update, for example, Apple published several new emoticons – including a ‘pregnant man’ in various skin tones.
Reading about CK’s latest controversy got us thinking …
? Do the words “mom” and “dad” refer to more than just the gender of the person(s) raising the children? In other words, do moms and dads play fundamentally different roles in their kids’ lives?
? What does it mean to be a “mom” or a “dad”?
? Some scientists say that, in the near future, we’ll be able to make a sperm from a female’s cell – and an egg from a male’s cell. Others believe that future humans will raise their embryos in artificial wombs (so no person will actually give birth to a baby). If that’s the case … will people whose DNA is used to create a baby just be “parents”? (Will the words “mom” and “dad” become outdated)?