Guys Feel Pressure to Look Like Calvin Klein Underwear Models
September 23, 2015
Objectification of bodies in the media has influenced our ideas of what is considered “attractive” —from the posters of Victoria’s Secret Angels adorning every mall in America to the shirtless, underwear-clad men of Calvin Klein and Abercrombie & Fitch. And it’s not just an issue for girls, either. A recent article published on Buzzfeed highlights the fact that body image and the pressure to look a certain way affects guys, too.
In Buzzfeed’s article, “We Re-Created Famous Calvin Klein Underwear Ads and This Is What Happened,” ordinary men recreated iconic Calvin Klein ads and then gave their reactions to the images. The article seems to have struck a chord—it’s been viewed over 800,000 times since publication and garnered hundreds of comments, many highlighting the fact that guys have insecurities as well. The juxtaposition of these models and the everyday guys trying to re-create them was thought-provoking, because while the original ads featured men with these ripped bodies, the men re-creating the pictures had diverse body types. And it’s easy to see how your average Joe could feel insecure; the regular guys with diverse body types aren’t normally considered conventionally “hot.” Let’s face it, though—when you’re with your partner, you’re not thinking about the fact that they don’t look like underwear models. Average Joe isn’t unattractive at all; he just doesn’t have an eight-pack!
Feeling insecure about my body is something I struggle with as well. And it’s pretty much a given that I’ll never look like the underwear models dripping sex from every billboard they’re on. It’s a completely unrealistic ideal, and yet I had internalized the belief that I wasn’t “trying hard enough” to look like these models and that I’d never end up with anyone because I looked, well, average.
Sex sells, but these ads are selling a fantasy. In real life, not all women have thigh gaps and big butts; similarly, not all men have smoldering abs and great pecs. But you know what? That’s completely OK. At the end of the day, accepting and loving your body and the bodies of others—whatever shape they’re in—is far more special. And that goes for people of all genders, too.
What do you think about the Buzzfeed article? Sound off in the comments!