Plus Sized Men’s Division at IMG!
Wow! This is SO exciting! IMG have opened a plus-size division for men!
It’s actually called ‘Brawn’, which illustrates the vibe much better. Their first signing is actor, comedian and Target model Zach Miko, who modelled for their ‘Big and Tall’ range and is actually big and tall!
Brawn will reflect guys like my boyfriend, who cycles everywhere, has boundless energy, broad shoulders and big arms and rarely sees his own body reflected back (not that he particularly cares!).
Last year I wrote an article on male models and the pressure they are under to maintain a beyond-belief six pack. This is a pressure that has arisen in the last few years – of course Adonis-like bodies have always featured in perfume ads, but there was a great range of bodies out there and less pressure on the guys. Now, you have to be skinny as a rake for Hedi Slimane-type catwalk shows and editorials, or have the body of an Olympic athlete. Many models are responding by over-exercising and under eating, meaning that the pictures we see don’t always reflect a healthy lifestyle needed to maintain the body that’s idealised in the photos and adverts.
We’re also seeing, bulimia and other eating disorders are on the rise amongst the males of the UK and this can only get worse as the fashion industry reflects narrowing body types for men…Just like we’ve seen happen for women.
In recent years the success of Naomi Shimada and Tess Holliday shows we’re making progress in widening the scope of what and who we see broadcast from our industry. Most agencies now have a ‘curve’ division for women and they’re raking in the cash.
IMG have realised that there is money to be made here, and ‘Brawn’ definitely fits in with the whole lumberjack/beardy/tattooed vibe we’ve seen become the norm for male models.
I still think it’s and absolutely fantastic development. Seeing a wider spectrum of body ideals means that more people will feel resonance, rather than alienation, when they see adverts and editorials.
So good on IMG and good luck to Brawn!
All images from Instagram.