I’m a HUGE and very vocal advocate for male body positivity. Whether it’s championing male body diversity in mainstream media or publicly denouncing male body shamers, I’m a firm believer that men should be comfortable in their own skin. Though it’s not often acknowledged or heavily documented, men face many of the same insecurities and disadvantages as women when it comes to personal body image. The pressure exists for us just as it does for our female counterparts. But thanks to some recent groundbreaking and forward-thinking developments, there’s proof that there’s a bigger support group out there than we could have ever imagined.
1. IMG recently started a plus-size men’s board.
The Brawn board is IMG’s new plus-size men’s board. Talk about an ultimate statement of support for male body positivity. IMG is the largest and most widely respected modeling agency out there, and the company is very publicly recognizing that there’s a profitable market in the world of male body diversity. The board’s first signee, Zach Miko, is breaking down barriers one photo at time. After becoming the first plus size male model for Target, he’s proof that the world around us is changing for the better.
2. American Eagle’s new Aerie man body positivity campaign is everything.
The AE video campaign isn’t just about accepting plus size men. It’s truly about representing the diversity in male physiques. From the average guy who’s still a health nut to the model type to the ‘more to love’ body, the campaign seeks to shatter stereotypes and show love for men of all sizes and shapes. The campaign is all about feeling sexy no matter what you look like. It’s a message I can get behind.
3. Body positive male fashion bloggers are all the rage.
Prior to his feature in the AE underwear campaign, Notoriously Dapper blogger Kelvin Davis was already making waves online. His IG profile boasts over 35,000 followers and an overwhelming amount of supportive comments. The pioneering blogger has also been featured in a recent Chubbies ad campaign and stories in Glamour and Details magazines. Aside from Miko, it looks like we’ve got ourselves another leader in the movement. And there are tons of other sites out there, like Chubstr, that are helping spread the word.
4. There is a productive global conversation taking place about ‘the perfect body’.
UK online pharmacy Superdrug Online Doctors is on a quest to define what the perfect body looks like all over the world. In the most recent installment of its project, “Perceptions Of Perfection”, it features the photo of one man photoshopped to look like the ideal man in 19 different countries. Though imperfect in its execution, the project’s intent is admirable as it’s opening up the body image discussion on a global scale.
5. Germany has an entire plus size male model agency.
Curve Model Management, based in Hamburg, Germany, has 30 working plus size male models on the books. And Curve is one of three agencies specializing in the plus-size side of the business. Always one to lead the conversation when it comes to fashion, Europe is proving it isn’t afraid to move forward in this new frontier. There’s recognition that this is an important and rapidly expanding market.
To be clear, this piece doesn’t serve as an endorsement of unhealthy living. This is an acknowledgment that healthy doesn’t have one body type definition. This is a celebration of the fact that the consumer is diverse and that diversity is slowly but surely being recognized by the fashion industry. Bravo to the companies and people leading this movement. These are the just the first of many more amazing developments to come.