Men’s Bodies and Inclusivity: are rules changing?
The reality of being a man in fashion
What is a Man?
When we think about the word Man and what it does mean, we all have some definitions in mind and an idea of what this word wants to represent. According to the Britannica Dictionary (n.d.), a man is “an adult male human being”. That’s the first definition given, followed by “a man or a boy who shows qualities (such as strength and courage) that men are traditionally supposed to have”. And then, in a third place: “a woman’s husband or boyfriend”.
We would like now to ask you a question: What do you think of these definitions?
In fact, we find it disappointing, in 2022, to still refer to a Man as a woman’s husband or as someone with certain types of qualities. The mention of “human being” only comes in fourth place.
Even if today, more and more people have this consciousness of what a man means and that things are changing, it is still hard to figure out what a man means according to the fashion industry and to its representation.
Representations of Male bodies in fashion
First of all, Men, within the fashion industry, are under-represented. The industry focuses way more on women. They are the leaders in terms of image, pictures, and creations. Just look at some male-magazines Instagram accounts or some fashion oriented accounts: mostly women.
Other instagram account as examples:
But we will not complain about that, since women may be over represented in this field, when it comes to heads of fashion brands, and top decision makers, they are, sadly, a minority. A gap which remains unchanged in 2022, while fights for equality and parity are still remaining.
Unfortunately, considering the previous definitions of what a man is, they are still represented as so. We mostly see muscular fit tall men, which is a great representation of strength, and in magazines, they are often posing with a woman.
We recently observed a slow change and progress when it comes to women’s body representation and inclusivity. We saw major fashion brands choosing plus sized and curvy models as their brand ambassadors. They understood that it was no longer possible for them to only represent women as tall and thin.
But when it comes to men and the male’s body representation, we still face the same problem and they are, mostly, not represented. We do not judge brands’ willingness or ideas behind their choice of male models, but we can hardly connect what is shown to the reality. Things are maybe changing slowly as some brands try also to be more inclusive when it comes to men. This category of people within the fashion industry is not well represented, and they can struggle to identify themselves with the models. Also, Male are not only tall, strong, fit, and hairless.
As of today, one of the only brands to show a panel of different bodies, is Savage X Fenty, Rihanna’s brand.
Rihanna’s brand is one of the leaders and better at body’s representations and inclusivity. It tries to show different types of people, men and women, with different body, skin colour, size and it is amazing.
Another fashion player who does it well too is Asos. But this time, mostly online on their website. Even though they have collections dedicated to all bodies and they hired a very large range of models, with different sizes, colours and shapes, they remain “traditional” on their Instagram account, which is quite sad.
But we observe a change coming, and some brands are trying to make an effort to represent more and more different body types, when it comes to men.
But a lot more needs to be done. When will we see body-hair on men? It’s natural after all. And what about more “normal” men on runway shows? The fight is hard for women, so it must be as hard or even worse for men. That’s sad but the reality of fashion.
Here, at FAB, we want to show and to represent the truth of beauty: Everything.
@fashionaddballs on Instagram
You can find beauty and style in each of us and everywhere you go. Body Positivism and the normalisation of not looking as a model have been a massive mind changing weapon from people all over the world. It helps to create self-confidence and to accept who we are as humans and the way we look. There is no standard, just health and happiness as criteria. If you are happy and healthy the way you are, that’s it. You do not need more.
We really hope fashion will adapt to that and will no longer only focus on “perfect” models. Just take the case and example of Rihanna. We like seeing different body types, men and women. Humans are good looking the way they are, it just needs to be shown.
Britannica Dictionary. (n.d.). Man. In britannica.com dictionary.Retrieved May 11, 2022, from: https://www.britannica.com/dictionary/man
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