Four 'real' men bravely pose as underwear models. Photo: Stewart Williams
There are plenty of ''real women'' campaigns around, but what about the men? Because, let's be honest, men are also held to unrealistic beauty standards.
We’d be kidding ourselves if we think men like David Beckham or Alexander Skarsgard are average blokes, and it’s unfair to expect all men to look like that.
Yet fashion labels continue to use extremely fit and often athletic-looking men to model their clothing lines.
A 'real' man next to David Beckham for H&M. Photo: Stewart Williams
Women’s brands started jumping on board ‘'real beauty'’ campaigns years ago, and it’s about time men’s brands did the same.
Fear not, British newspaper The Sun has addressed these issues and decided to create a ''real men;; beauty campaign, getting anonymous readers to pose just like their model counterparts.
Four brave but normal men volunteered to pose exactly the same as the underwear models, resulting in images that are exactly the same except for the physical form and amount of airbrushing.
A 'real' man next to Cristiano Ronaldo for Emporio Armani. Photo: Stewart Williams
The photo comparisons offer us a teasing glimpse of what male marketing would look like with real men, and it dispels the myth that everyone who wears Armani underwear should also look like Cristiano Ronaldo.
Whether it would be an effective marketing technique is another story: Would real men sell the brands as well as proper, photoshopped models?
Dove and American Eagle are just two brands who have created successful campaigns promoting the beauty of real women.
A 'real' man and David Gandy for Dolce & Gabana Photo: Stewart Williams
Dove’s ‘'Real Beauty'' campaign, first launched 10 years ago, featured women ‘'outside the stereotypical norms'’ and has been a very clever marketing move. The company has used it ever since.
American Eagle made a similar campaign this year, promising not to photoshop their models.
In all seriousness, men can develop eating disorders such as anorexia just like women do (although it is much rarer in men), and trying to fit the ideal male mould plays a part in the development of these issues..
A 'real' man next to Freddie Ljungberg for Calvin Klein. Photo: Stewart Williams
Perhaps more brands should follow The Sun’s example of using real men.
Considering no global brands have attempted such a campaign, they could fill a lucrative gap in the advertising market. It would be great to see a ‘'real men'’ version of an Old Spice ad, for starters.