Hairdresser under fire for ‘sexist’ topless photos

The salon. Picture: Julie Bull
The salon. Picture: Julie Bull
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A POSH salon has sparked a row after displaying “smutty” photographs of models in its windows.

Hair by JFK, in Bruntsfield Place, has received compliments from customers after putting up arty shots in its windows where the models show off more than just their hairstyles.

Karen Brown is disappointed in the negative reaction to the salon's photos. Picture: Julie Bull

Karen Brown is disappointed in the negative reaction to the salon's photos. Picture: Julie Bull

One of the eight photographs shows a model with black tape forming crosses over her nipples while others show a model covering her bare chest with a hand.

There’s also no escaping the photographs at night as they are lit up across the top windows of the hairdresser’s studio.

But the risque images have proven too much for some who believe the “smutty” shots are sexist and lower the area’s tone.One local resident Katy Bromberg was so put out by them that she wrote to the salon and asked her local councillor Melanie Main to help get them taken down.

As part of her efforts to spur action, she tweeted Cllr Main saying: “Would you be able to help me convince a #Bruntsfield shop to take down its sexist advertising?”

One of the controversial photos. Picture: Julie Bull

One of the controversial photos. Picture: Julie Bull

Ms Bromberg says that the photographs “use sexualised female nudity to sell a service rather than showcase the creative hairdressing on offer”.

However, the salon’s owner, Karen Brown, said she stood by the photographs.

She said: “We did the pictures last year because they were to be entered into the British Hairdresser Awards and we made the Scottish finals with these so we put them on the windows of the salon.

“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 and we even had a cover in Germany so it was quite a surprise for us to receive that negative feedback.

“It’s like art throughout the ages – it does stimulate debate but it just seems a shame that she feels so strongly about it in a negative way.”

She also insisted that the salon and its brand were not sexist.

She added: “We are definitely not a sexist brand in any way, shape or form.

“We are always trying to be artists and we do push the boundaries and 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 thought of them as an expression of our creativity.”

However, Cllr 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.

“It took a year for me to get a lap dancing club to remove the silhouettes that residents had complained about over the years, and the owner did so in an effort to work with the community.

“Lets hope common sense prevails in this case, too.”


Of course, this is not the first time residents have been offended by images of women appearing on their streets.

The Evening News originally reported on bosses of The Liquorice Club, a strip club in Tollcross, who agreed to take down “vulgar” silhouettes of women last July.

Tollcross community councillor Chris Wigglesworth called the images, used for advertising, “offensive”, with the club agreeing to remove them as part of a drive to spruce up the city.