The body positivity conversation is expanding to include more than just women. While our Fall 2016 Diversity Report shows that there were only six full-figured model appearances on the runway at Women’s Fashion Week, plus-size men have even less representation. Thankfully, the industry is slowly starting to change. IMG recently launched a Brawn division for plus-size men and Aerie debuted a campaign featuring men of all shapes and sizes.
Aerie bills its new ad as “a celebration of REAL men who love themselves inside and out.” The video comes in tandem with its men’s underwear launch and features five men of varying weight and height. They all speak to the camera about feeling comfortable in their own skin while modeling Aerie’s new line of underwear.
Most outlets praised the campaign as empowering and groundbreaking but The Huffington Post questioned if the ad is actually a spoof. “Something seemed off,” Associate Style Editor Jamie Feldman wrote, “but it wasn’t until we received hi-res images from the company that Aerie REALLY got caught with their pants down: The file names included the word “spoof.” Say it ain’t so.
It’s hard to tell whether the clip is just a satire of the body positive campaigns flooding the market. But even if Aerie created the video just for laughs, it is refreshing to see men of all sizes represented in advertising. Maybe it’s time the industry started taking plus-size men a little more seriously.