If you saw a Twitter post reading “7 swim shorts made to show off stockier builds” you most likely wouldn’t expect to see five men posing in a mediterranean destination with theirs abs on display – right?
Apparently GQ didn’t get the memo. Google defines the term stocky as “broad and sturdily built,” but a Twitter post by GQ recommending shorts for men of this body type shows anything but the “husky” build.
— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) August 8, 2018
The article, which explores various men’s swimwear brands highlights the impact tailored shorts can have on a more compact body type. While women are conditioned to regularly have these articles fill our newsfeeds, it’s not often men are subject to the same kind of subliminal messaging.
Whether the recommended brands actually work for “sturdy” men or not, the stock photo they used couldn’t be further from the body types they were targeting with the Twitter post.
The body-image tables have turned, and Twitter isn’t letting this slip-up by GQ lie. It turns out there was no shortage of memes to depict how Twitter users felt about the rippling abs representing ‘stocky’ men everywhere.
…That word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
— Nicholas Verso (@NickVerso) August 9, 2018
are those the olympic swimmers who sold the shorts to the stocky guys
— husky (once mangy) (@sheckyyoungman) August 9, 2018
Me, looking for the stockier builds in this photo… pic.twitter.com/V20juvZi23
— Cørebéar (@thealmostbear) August 9, 2018
My right thigh is bigger than their heads.
— Alexander Chee (@alexanderchee) August 9, 2018
Some users even called out the men’s magazine for contributing to society’s obsession with body image, noting it’s an issue their female counterparts have lived with for years.
Which of those male models would you define as “stocky” @GQMagazine?
You’re really not doing much to help with crippling male body image are you?
— Tom [PositiveLad] (@PositiveLad) August 9, 2018
Are you guys trying to make men as neurotic and obsessed about their bodies as women? If that’s your goal, kudos.
— amanda hugandkiss (@wendybyrdm) August 9, 2018
just some real husky lads with proper stocky builds, the kind that all of us hefty lunchboys can really relate to and readily identify with https://t.co/PiQefLPqvN
— Dan Devine (@YourManDevine) August 9, 2018
Despite the comedic stance taken by Twitter, body image issues for men are on the rise in the UK. Last year, data from the NHS revealed that eating disorders among men had risen by 70% in just six years – which is the same rate of increase for women.
So while it’s a battle women know all too well, men aren’t completely untouched by today’s standards. This Twitter thread revealed how men use comedy to react to the delusional pressures society places on the body, but the truth is, regardless of sex, these images can have a damaging effect on both mental and physical health.
With body image being such a hot topic right now, it’s unfortunate men are also seeing the unrealistic standards imposed by media – it turns out the sexes are in it together.
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