Marketers and celebrities on Instagram have been advocating for body positivity for a few years now, but it's usually targeted towards women. Which is understandable, because society places a lot more pressure and expectations on the female body than it does on the male body.
British website Manual started a male self-acceptance campaignand we are here for it. Because, just like women, many men suffer from beauty standards created by society. And while the requirements, so to say, are different from those women are expected to meet, they do exist.
This campaign shows men posing in nothing but their underwear. And hello, diversity! The photos were taken by British photographer Hermione Hodgson and all come with a message written by the model. Each participant talked about self-confidence and their relationship to their body.
All the photos from the campaign and the messages that come with them all reveal one truth: there isn't just one way to be masculine and it would be nice to see this reflected in the media more often. Kenny Ethan Jones, a 25-year-old transgender model put it so well:
Masculinity is a spectrum. Gender doesn't just exist in one place, every person is different. So how can one person classify what masculinity stands for, for every man? It's impossible.
Another participant, Bashir Aziz, 24, suffers from vitiligo, like the famous model Winnie Harlow who's turned her illness into an asset! He explained that he had a hard time accepting his body when he was younger, embracing "about 20%" of it. Bashir believes that you need to get your mind right first, then you'll be able to accept your body. And that is the path he chose!
Sylvester Campion, on the other hand, is the survivor of a serious accident that put him in a wheelchair and caused him to lose mobility in one leg. His message? "People say you can't wear this, you can't look like that. Just be you."