Posts Tagged ‘mens plus fashion’

Fantastic Advertorial or Fantastic Tokenism?

June 5, 2010

ETA: The gorgeous Amy has alerted me to the fact that this is part of an entire issue that uses ordinary men in their photos as opposed to models, so this isn’t quite as simple as one big guy in a magazine. I’m going to try and hunt it down and see for myself.

Courtesy of Black Book (

It’s been noted before that the current wave of plus sized visibilty in fashion magazines has been 100% female oriented, with men’s fashion slowly emaciating itself. So it’s raised a few eyebrows that mens’ fashion magazine Fantastic Man used a plus sized male model in their new advertorial for H&M.

I have mixed feelings about it. First of all yes, I’m super pleased that a hot, husky dude is being used in a high fashion spread like this. But I am also aware that it is definitely tokenism, and doesn’t signal any specific change in the fashion industry the way plus sized female models are. It’s also worth noting that Fantastic Man is very much an avant garde magazine, and deviates from the fashion norm where possible. That’s not a bad thing at all – I’ve had the pleasure of reading through older copies and it’s a wonderful magazine – but at the same time, it’s never going to have the global reach of Glamour’s Lizzie Miller photo, for example. There’s nothing to be read into the photos – it is just a model who happens to be bigger than most.

But you know, variety is variety, and I am pleased that there is a spread out there featuring a bigger fella. I’ve noted for a while that male plus sized fashion is severely under represented in the fatshion blogging world, when there are definitely bigger guys who are as into expressing themselves fashionably as all of us. And from what I’ve seen, the choices for bigger mens’ fashion are absolutely dire. A few fellas spring to mind, such as my friend Dan Huntley, Nick A.K.A Mr Definatalie and the occassional sartorially daring big guy on Lookbook who manage to dress awesomely despite this conundrum.

What do you all think? And more importantly, if you’re a bigger fella who likes fashion, I’d love to hear from you! Send your (or your boyfriends/friends/husbands’) outfit pictures to lauren.darling at (clothes on, please) and I’ll do a post showing how cool and fashionable you all are.