Jeremy Allen White, once the underdog in the Hollywood hierarchy, has orchestrated a mesmerizing performance as the latest Calvin Klein underwear model. While the V-line of his lower abs and the sun-lit stretch towards the heavens have grabbed headlines, it’s the sultry soundtrack of Lesley Gore’s ’60s hit, “You Don’t Own Me,” that has us hooked. This blog post delves into the multifaceted allure of White’s Calvin Klein ad campaign and explores the intriguing dynamics at play.
The Unexpected Sex Symbol Emerges
White’s ascent to underwear model stardom didn’t happen overnight. His role in the FX series, The Bear, catapulted him into the limelight, earning him both critical acclaim and an unlikely sex symbol status. Often likened to an “ugly-hot Pete Davidson,” White embraces his underdog charm. Fans are drawn to the loveable screw-up character he portrays on screen, making him the “thinking woman’s alternative to a Hollywood Chris.”
Despite some male stars shying away from celebrity vanity rituals, the allure of shedding clothes for Calvin Klein retains a certain prestige. White, straddling the line between thirstiness and artistic expression, proves to be the perfect choice for this campaign. His previous participation in lascivious photo shoots and shirtless strolls through Los Angeles set the stage for his ultimate showcase as an underwear model.
Calvin Klein: Where Prestige Meets Controversy
Calvin Klein has a knack for selecting models that resonate with its diverse customer base. From Alexa Demie to BTS’s Jung Kook, the brand has a history of provocative advertising that sparks conversations. The Jeremy Allen White campaign follows in the footsteps of iconic predecessors like Mark Wahlberg’s 1992 boxer-brief ads and Justin Bieber’s 2015 revival.
What sets White’s images apart is the absence of a deferential female presence. These images exude a less toxically masculine vibe, challenging traditional Calvin Klein norms. The choice of Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” further accentuates this departure, allowing viewers to imagine themselves as an active participant in the scene.
The Soundtrack: A Feminist Anthem for Thirst
Lesley Gore’s anthem, “You Don’t Own Me,” takes center stage in the Calvin Klein campaign, playfully reminding viewers that, for a few seconds, they do own Jeremy Allen White. The girly, feminine, and feminist undertones of the song align seamlessly with the imagery, marking these ads as particularly “for the girls.” In an era where owning one’s thirst is celebrated, this campaign encourages viewers to luxuriate in desire.
The controversial elements of Calvin Klein’s past are still present, but the narrative has evolved. White’s provocative shots, including the enigmatic pants-down pose and the choice to keep sneakers and socks on, serve as provocations in the brand’s unmistakable style.
The Internet Frenzy and National Landmarks
As the campaign took the internet by storm, fans flooded social media with videos blowing kisses and bowing down to billboards of White’s sultry spreads. One enthusiastic video declared a billboard on Lafayette and Houston in New York City as “a national landmark.” The frenzy reached its peak after White clinched a Golden Globe for his role in The Bear, solidifying his status as a household name.
Beyond the Underwear: White’s Rising Star
Amidst the underwear-clad glamour, Jeremy Allen White’s star continues to ascend. His Golden Globe win for The Bear propelled him into the spotlight, and he has since returned for the show’s second season. Currently gracing the screen in The Iron Claw, alongside Zac Efron and Lily James, White explores the tragic saga of the von Erichs, a renowned American wrestling family.
However, even in the midst of stardom, White’s personal life saw upheaval with his ex-wife, Addison Timlin, filing for divorce shortly after his Golden Globes win.
Owning the Moment
In the enthralling fusion of Jeremy Allen White’s magnetic presence, Calvin Klein’s provocative legacy, and Lesley Gore’s empowering soundtrack, a cultural moment unfolds. These images, controversial yet evolved, invite viewers to own their desires, transcending traditional gender norms. As we bow down to the national landmark billboards, we acknowledge that in this moment, Jeremy Allen White and Calvin Klein aren’t just owning the narrative—they’re redefining it.