We’re all used to commercials from major brands like Dove, who want women of all sizes feeling empowered and sexy while we give that brand our hard-earned money. Now American Eagle Outfitters is mixing things up by appealing to dudes who may feel insecure about their bodies by featuring a bunch of guys in their underwear.
“I don’t mind that I won’t be retouched,” says Matt, who happens to be tall, blond, slender, muscular and so conventionally attractive that I’m having trouble understanding why he’s in this commercial. “Everyone should be comfortable in their own skin.”
“Great style to me is when anyone feels comfortable in what they wear,” adds Kelvin, a more average-looking dude who’s sitting in a bubble bath. (Is he wearing Aerie underwear while taking a bath or something? I’m confused.)
Snark aside, it’s great that we want people of all shapes and sizes to feel sexy and confident - but you have to admit that the context is a bit different between women and men (straight men, at least). Eve Peyser at NY Magazine’s “The Cut” says this campaign isn’t as edgy as Aerie likes to think it is:
Revolutionary? Not so fast. Yes, we hold male models to a body standard that's difficult to achieve, but the world is pretty good at celebrating men even if they deviate from that standard.
Whether it be the dadbod trend of 2015 or the disappointing realism of the attractiveness disparities in Judd Apatow's oeuvre, the world is full of examples that prove a man can be 20 pounds overweight or slightly asymmetrical and still be accepted by society.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments!