Balenciaga’s moralistic Twitter exit coincides with its ads featuring little girls and BDSM teddy bears

Designer brand Balenciaga may have left Twitter as part of a leftist group-think protest against Elon Musk’s approach to his now privately owned social media company, but the timing of their apparent protest has aligned with the publication of some disturbing images on their website featuring bondage and children.

The Spanish brand faced intense backlash Sunday for the promotional images used to sell a line of handbags made in the style of teddy bears. While the BDSM leather and spike-garbed plush purses were enough to put consumers on edge, the models used to advertise the kinky accessories infuriated the public.

Captured by photographer Gabriel Galimberti, the images depict extremely young girls standing on a couch and bed displaying the fishnet and leather bondage-garbed bears along with other accessories available in their holiday gift shop which one slammed as “Lovely.”

The images themselves were concerning enough, but it wasn’t long before others pointed out how this took many parties agreeing to move forward with this promotion for it to be approved.

“It’s the front page of their website. Scared, confused little girls on beds with toys dressed in adult sex shop fetish gear,” one person wrote. “This photoshoot must have been through dozens of people before being placed Front of House–didn’t any of them think it was wrong? Not one?”

Some social media users took a closer look at the rest of the images contained in the promotion and found the Easter eggs only added to the unsettling position that the brand was taking. It was pointed out that some of the merchandise was displayed with excerpts from the 2002 Supreme Court case Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition that struck down provisions from the 1996 Child Pornography Prevention Act.

As was included, the visible excerpt of the court ruling stated more fully, “The act specifically proscribed computer-generated or -altered depictions of minors engaging in explicit sexual conduct (so-called ‘virtual’ child pornography) and images of explicit sexual conduct by adults who resemble minors.”

“The court ruled that the law’s expanded definition of child pornography as including any image that ‘appears to be’ of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct or that is ‘presented…in such a manner that conveys the impression’ that it is of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct would criminalize images that are not obscene and images that were not produced with any real children,” it went on.

The activist group Keep Prisons Single Sex USA called out the promotion, stating, “This destruction of innocence & normalization of fringe behaviors seems like an effort to make acceptable previously unimaginable scenarios (like men in women’s prisons & shelters / children having ‘gender identities’ / adult-dancing in libraries). None of this is acceptable.”

The suggestion was made that even Balenciaga was aware of the lines they were crossing as some believed their step away from Twitter was not out of a leftist protest of Elon Musk, but rather as some effort to shield themselves from accountability.

https://twitter.com/SoniaGallegoAJE/status/1594285788447088641

Whatever the motivation behind the campaign or Balenciaga’s moves on social media, consumers didn’t hold back after seeing the images.

https://twitter.com/CourtneyBot_XX/status/1594351141453791232

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