We often talk about female objectification and the sexualized images of women that permeate the media, but we aren’t the only ones faced with unattainable standards of what is considered to be the “ideal”. Men are also victim to increasingly unrealistic messages of masculine perfection.
In an experiment, the British newspaper The Sun decided to put four of their readers in front of a camera, to see what it would look like to have “real men” model in their underwear. The photos, by Stewart Williams, emulate popular ad images from Armani, H&M, Dolce & Gabbana and Calvin Klein.
The Sun explained what precipitated the experiment: “REAL women with real shapes have figured in ad campaigns for years, with brands such as Dove and M&S showing the female form as nature intended. But what about the fellas? Instead of realistic role models, they are still faced with images of perfectly sculpted males modelling boxers beneath impossibly taut six-packs.”
While we admit that at first the images made us chuckle, they also serve as a reminder that the feelings of body dissatisfaction and inadequacy aren’t ours alone; body image is an equal opportunity issue that doesn’t discriminate on gender.