The high-fashion brand Balenciaga, popularized by Kim Kardashian, recently came under fire for putting out a holiday photo campaign featuring some disturbing images of children. These children appear to be the victims of abuse, holding teddy-bear bags dressed in "bondage" gear. Even worse, in the foreground of one of the pictures, there are documents from court cases regarding child-pornography.
Following the public outcry concerning the extremely disturbing nature of these pictures, Balenciaga pulled the campaign. In a public statement, the brand apologized but took no responsibility, blaming the production company who handled the photoshoot. They have since filed a lawsuit against the production company.
Balenciaga has been heading down a dark road for a long time. They acknowledged that it was a mistake to feature their leather-clad plush bear bags with children, but perhaps the bigger question is why they are designing a leather-clad teddy bear bag. Teddy bears are for children and the bondage gear on the bear sends a degrading message, especially to abusers and the wealthy elite in Hollywood. Kim Kardashian, the celebrity face of Balenciaga and mother of four, said in a belated public statement she was disturbed by the images, but she stopped short of cutting ties with the brand. With image-based sex abuse on the rise, we must do more to protect children.
To read more about the Balenciaga scandal, click here.