The owner of a posh Scots hair salon was yesterday accused of being “sexist” — for displaying saucy pictures of topless models in her shop windows.
The Hair by JFK salon in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh, are using the racy shots to advertise trendy hairstyles but they have provoked a furious backlash from angry locals.
One of the models is pictured topless with black tape across her nipples while other images show a model using her hand to cover her bare chest.
Local resident Katy Bromberg was so enraged by the photos that she contacted her local councillor on Twitter, saying: “Would you be able to help me convince a Bruntsfield shop to take down its sexist advertising?”
She added: “They use sexualised female nudity to sell a service rather than showcase the creative hairdressing on offer.”
There is no escaping the images at night either – as they are lit up across the top windows of the hairdresser’s studio.
The snaps were taken last year when to show off staff’s talent after the salon reached the Scottish finals of the British Hairdresser Awards.
Despite receiving an angry letter from Katy, salon owner Karen Brown is refusing to take the pictures down.
She said: “We are definitely not a sexist brand in any way, shape or form.
“We received a letter from the lady concerned and then she went on Twitter and started involving the Green councillor to have us take them down.
“It was a bit of a shock because they had been so well received – they had been seen internationally. We thought of them as an expression of our creativity.
“It was quite a surprise for us to receive that negative feedback.
“She’s obviously a very intelligent woman because she puts her arguments together very well but perhaps using a sexist angle is not correct.
“We are always trying to be artists and we do push the boundaries.
“As hairdressers we express ourselves through our photographic collections.
“We would never use our models in an exploitative fashion.
“The aim was to highlight our belief that with fierce, standout haircuts and styling what you wear is inconsequential.
“The models we cast were all strong, independent individuals and we felt this absolutely came across in each of the images.”
Martyna Kamecka, the photographer who took the pictures said she was intrigued by the response.
She said: “Feminism in advertising, media and art will always be a hot topic and we feel that bringing attention to this can only ever be a positive.
“The current images, although they may be revealing are in no way demeaning to the women in them nor to the women who look at them.
“The female form in all shapes and sizes is to be celebrated.”
Local Scottish Green Party councillor Melanie Main said the residents would find the photographs “hard to avoid”.
She said: “It is interesting to see that JFK have put the most controversial images away from the main road where they won’t be seen by nearly so many people. I wonder why?
“Unfortunately the residents whose flats look out toward the main road will find it hard to avoid these images if they wished to, as they are brightly illuminated at night.
“Surely it is possible to support new artists and take account of the sensibilities of your neighbours.”