It is good to see that plus size women are finding support and representation in the fashion industry. They are not shy to pose before the camera anymore. Things are not perfect, but there is certainly an improvement. But, what about the plus size male models? In all the discussions about the real beauty being about people being comfortable and confident in their own skins, there is usually never any mention about the plus size men. However, even this is changing, and fashion industry is slowly recognizing this gap.
There are many reasons why it is more difficult for plus size male models to make it into the fashion industry than it is plus size female models. While the society has grown more accepting of women of all sizes, the same is not true for heavier males. Heavy males are still the quintessential “comically funny fat guy”. Why? Because the Entertainment industry thinks so. The average person thinks so. Brands are in the business for profits, and obviously want their ads to be taken seriously. However, the surest signs of an impending change can be seen cropping up in Europe, especially Germany.
While dad bods have found no representation by fashion industry agencies in most countries, the same is not true for Germany. There are at least three agencies in Germany that specialize in plus size male models. This trend is slowly seeping into other countries and the demand for bigger men is gaining traction steadily elsewhere. For instance, Target has already featured two plus sized models – Zach Miko and Jermain Hollman – as regulars for showcasing its clothesline. Similar is the case with Steven and Antonio, who are gaining international fame with the help of their agency, Curve.
Now, Enough with the demand, let’s discuss supply side. Despite the fashion industry finally opening its doors to dad bods now, it is the men themselves who are fighting this change. After having been made a laughing stock by many, there is a huge mental barrier for plus size male models to take up the job. Since everybody thinks of them as the fat guy for comical relief, most of the plus size men themselves, believe the same too. In other words, they do not consider themselves to be “model-worthy”. Overcoming that stigma will be a major challenge for them to make it big in the fashion industry.
The interesting part is that all of this is in absolute contradiction to what is happening in the real world out there. Research indicates that plus size men like their clothes to be represented by people of similar size as themselves. They do not want skinny guys telling them how to wear plus sizes anymore.
To put things in a nutshell, plus size fashion is a happening thing now, and the fashion industry is unable to meet the ever increasing demand for plus size male models. It remains to be seen whether or not plus size men will overcome their mental barriers, rise up to the occasion, and rock the fashion industry.