Brandon: Underwear labels clearly don’t shy away from sexing up/playing into the gay-factor with their ads. Does the prevalence of designer underwear labels and the chiseled male models in their ad campaigns play any role in the gay male’s body image? (I know I’ve shied away from certain lines because I’ve had to pause and think, yeah that looks great on this guy with a 31″ waist, but I am too fat to pull it off…)
Tim: Yes definitely it plays an image in a gay man’s body image. Every guy wants to look good in their undies. As a gay guy, seeing a hot guy in undies will make me look at the ad or box cover and think many guys will do the same. It’s also a way to get a new brand noticed. Show some hot guys in underwear and it spreads around the net. I think part of the purchase of underwear is we want to look as good as the model does in the picture. In marketing it’s “If I buy this underwear I will look as good as the model”.
You bring a point to the bigger issue regardless of sexual orientation. How many of us really look like male models? Most of us are Real guys and we want to know how underwear will fit an average guy. It’s something I have dealt with on the UNB site. We all agree on a buff underwear model with at 32 waist and six pack abs anything would look good on them. I hear from guys all the time that they want to see more pictures in reviews and on the site in general on how underwear looks on real guys. It’s sort of a double edge sword. One one hand you can post real guys in underwear, like our guides, but get comments like “They shouldn’t be wearing that” “those are not models” and my favorite “That guy is too fat to wear those undies.” when the model was a 32 waist but a bigger build. To take it back to your main question, I’m a bigger guy too, we’re roughly the same height and build, and have debated putting self pics on my reviews. Being gay putting pics up of me in undies is something that I am not looking forward to comments about how I look. I have shared some with friends but broadcasting to the larger audience makes me very nervous. I have worked really hard to loose weight and be able to fit in the undies we now report on. I think now I’m getting to a build that reflects many of our readers. So your “I’m too fat” comment strikes so close to home. I just have it in my head that May guys will comment “Oh he should know that he shouldn’t wear underwear like that cause he’s fat..” I am going to post a self pic on a review soon to gauge the interest and comments but it’s not something I am looking forward too!
I know brands need to sell underwear and let’s face it sex sells. Not just in men’s underwear but in just about any product category. Plus I think the gay audience is still more open to having more sexually suggestive ads in underwear. As I have stated in this Q&A when it gets to the main stream they don’t want to offend the audience. That’s a whole other can of worms to open. It’s starting to change but it’s not going to be over night. We are seeing that slowly change. The prime example is the new Calvin Klein ad that ran in this last years Super Bowl. Unlike the David Beckham H&M ad you saw all the underwear. This is a giant step forward to when we used to have men’s underwear ads and never show the underwear on a person.
This concludes this Brief Talk. Brandon and myself will be back soon with more Straight Talk. We hope you have enjoyed the chat between us. There are other Brief Talks in work on the site. They will be out very soon!
I’m so glad you have touched on this topic with some reality and dignity.
Just last week, after seeing Andrew Christian’s latest “social video,” in which they make fun of a bigger guy (who is really not all that big) for his belly, I’ve decided to no long support that company by buying their products. I’m encouraging my friends to stop buying, as well.
Andrew Christian does make great underwear, but it’s not so great that I’m going to overlook harmful, disgusting marketing gimmicks to buy his product.
I think you should post pictures of you in underwear! For every guy who says “you are too fat for that!” You’ll have 20 who will see it and think “wow if he can look sexy in those so can I!”.
Unfortunately the most damaging, venomous and obnoxious people tend to be the most vocal! But change doesn’t happen by hiding in the closet!
Real men need to express a love for their body so that underwear brands will think “you know what? Real men are sexy!” And we can be rid of these chiseled guys who look like touching them might give you a cut or graze.
I agree with Jake and I too felt uncomfortable watching the ‘fat’ guy being laughed at. I know that no-one with more than a 30″ waist is going to model men’s underwear, but the ad seemed unneccesarily cruel. I have already switched from AC to Pump underwear, they also have some sexy models 😉
Not only wouldn’t support a company laughing at a chubby/fat person wearing their underwear (Andrew Christian), that also applies to not having some diversity with their models.