4   +   6   =  

This April Fool’s Day, Aerie/American Eagle really stepped in it. Actually, to say that they “stepped in it” is too kind; that might suggest that it was not a premeditated act of cruelty and supremacy. Aerie/American Eagle straight up bamboozled a group of male models, making them the underwear-clad butts of their body positive joke. Not only was this for April Fool’s Day (Apr 1), but they started early!

Aerie/American Eagle ran the #AerieMan campaign with the slogan “The Real You Is Sexy.” Seeing a mainstream brand support men who may have self-esteem issues was incredibly inspiring and a bold, brave move on their part. While it was tongue-in-cheek, it felt like a gentle, playful introduction to a serious topic that’s often difficult to navigate. To suggest that men do not feel pressure to fit into an ideal masculine male mold is naive at best — and sexist at worst.

One good thing that came from this is, it created actual discussion about masculine body positivity. A lot of men and masc-presenting folks who do not normally talk about the topic are standing up for themselves and saying “Hey, my body is not the punchline of a joke.” The campaign has also left us with a massive style crush on Notoriously Dapper’s Kelvin Davis. He’s got style for days and embraces his body while encouraging others to do so.

Check out Kelvin’s blog at Notoriously Dapper and follow him on Instagram.