Remember when American Eagle ticked everyone off by launching a fake April Fool’s campaign for body positive men’s underwear? Yeah, well, forget those clowns, because Surge underwear, a men’s skivvies brand in the U.K., has launched a body positive underwear campaign. Not only is it real, but it’s also racially diverse and trans-inclusive on top of sexy.
The Surge underwear photo campaign incorporates guys from ages 21 to 43, at least three darker-skinned models (out of 11), two models with larger bodies and a trans man. While some of the men are toned and muscular, most of them have bodies like those of us who don’t hit the gym everyday.
Surge’s brand director, Austin Armacost — who appeared in LOGO TV’s The A-List New York, was buck naked in Celebrity Big Brother 16 and who once proclaimed himself as “a very asexual person” — said, “From day one it was decided that our brand was going to be an inclusive brand.”
He continued, “Every single person is beautiful and this needs to be celebrated more. There is a lot of talk of female high street brands using plus-size models, but where are the men? We want to add towards overcoming an unattainable beauty standard and display an accurate representation of the ‘Everyday man.'”
Queer people are bombarded by images of muscular retouched models in advertisements of all sorts. Combined with societal rejection, LGBTQ people face high rates of eating disorders and body dysmorphia. So we welcome Surge underwear’s campaign as it marks a step towards improved body image amongst men.
Here are images from Surge underwear’s body positive campaign:
Thankfully, there have been a handful of public efforts recently to highlight body positivity amongst queer men.
In February 2017, five LGBTQ college students made a video discussing body image; in April 2017, gay actor Daniel Franzese discussed how body image affected his acting career; in July 2017, the EveryMAN project launched a photo series celebrating large men of color; and in November 2017, photographer Anthony Patrick Manieri released images celebrating nude men of size and in March 2018, an Instagrammer named Mina Gerges discussed his campaign to get men to embrace their stretch marks.