Men also feel the pressure to look 'fit' and have sculpted bodies as depicted in the media but these illustrations remind men to love their bodies.
Most of the campaigns about body positivity by brands and in the media are centered around women and Lena Dirscherl, an artist who goes by BoPoLena wants to change that. BoPoLena, who's also a body acceptance activist, has been working on an art project that celebrates the body of men, and not limited to just the tall, masculine, and stronger stereotype that's often celebrated in media. Depiction of men in media and pop culture are forcing men to spend a lot of their energy on the way they look.
There's no question women are held to impossible beauty standards and a lot more work needs to be done to change that perception of what the public perceives as beautiful. But there are hardly any campaigns to celebrate men's body positivity and BoPoLena is hoping, through their project, to help men embrace their bodies. "It seems I've struck a nerve with this message: body positivity is not only for women," wrote BoPoLena. "No, it's for all genders! Men also suffer [from] diet culture and the pressure to look as 'attractive' as possible. But you all are already beautiful!" they added. BoPoLena said they wanted to remind men that they don't need diets or a fitness regime to deemed worthy. BoPoLena is queer, pansexual and non-binary. They have also created a lot of inclusive art projects. "I've started creating body positive art. At first, my bopo illustrations had been very general but soon I realized that there are certain groups that might feel left out of the body-positive conversation. So I decided to take a serial approach, pick a topic and create several illustrations around it. I've done body positive series for men, for non-binary folx, and for intersex people so far," they write. They've also collaborated with bopo.boy on a few illustrations.
Here is some of their work from the art project:
"I spent so much of life covering up, wearing oversized hoodies, avoiding horizontal stripes, and doing anything possible to divert attention away from my body. After all, society would tell us that our bodies don’t deserve to be seen, that we should reduce ourselves to fit into a box society made for us. It’s time to break out of that box, time to realize that your body and all bodies deserve to be seen, deserve to take up space, and deserve to look damn good whilst doing it!" writes @bopo.boy who worked with BoPoLena on the project.
"There have been some conversations about plus size women in fashion campaigns over the last few years. And there even have been some actual fashion campaigns with plus size women! (Not enough though.) BUT what about men? Where are the plus size campaigns for men?" asks BoPoLena.