Men are facing a huge double standard in the fashion industry

Paris Fashion WeekThierry Chesnot/Getty ImagesA thin male model walks the runway at Paris Fashion Week.

There are constant cries on the Internet for the fashion industry to embrace plus size female models.

From petitions for Victoria’s Secret to offer larger sizes to outright pleas for plus size models to walk to appear in ads, there is a clear demand for retailers to appeal to plus size women.

But there is no demand for larger male models, reports Yahoo Style. In fact, the style website notes that big models were noticably absent from New York men’s fashion week.

The lack of larger men on the runway highlights an even stranger component to the double standard.

The media has welcomed the the “dad bod” with glee. Plenty of male celebrities show off flabby stomachs. And television has a chronic history of featuring chubby men alongside model-thin women as their love interests.

Dad BodThe OddyseyThe media openly embraced the ‘dad bod,’ as evidenced here in a photo from an essay by Clemson University student, Mackenzie Pearson.

But the fashion industry has yet to open its arms to larger men.

This is likely because men (unlike women) haven’t called out requesting to see larger men, Yahoo Style notes.

“As an agency, we don’t dictate demand, we respond to it,” DNA model manager Gene Kogan told Yahoo Style. “Demand has to originate from designers, brands, or retailers. If there was a strong demand for plus-size male models, believe me, we would be scouting for them.”

Further, fashion is targeted towards women, Yahoo notes. “Fashion has tended in the recent past to mean more to women than to men, and this is perhaps why more women now expect to see themselves reflected in all their different shapes in it,” Mark Simpson, the man behind the defining word ‘metrosexual,’ told Yahoo Style. “Until now men haven’t had so much invested, or they didn’t mind the idealization of fashion. They tend not to see it as something driving them to eating disorders. In fact, they may not pay attention to it at all.”

Tess Holliday Monif C CampaignCourtesy Monif CPlus-size model Tess Holliday.

Meanwhile, people remain very vocal when it comes to how women are represented in fashion. People were outraged when Calvin Klein called model Myla Dalbesio “plus size,” when she was only around a size 10.

This vocal behaviour has helped women.

Female plus size models have gained more traction in the recent years. H&M used plus-size model Jennie Runk in a major campaign in 2013. Ashley Graham was featured this year in Sports Illustrated (albeit in an ad). Size-22 Tess Holliday has collaborated with major cosmetic company, Benefit, and even appeared on the cover of People.

But until men start speaking out about the lack of diversity on the runway, it’s unlikely that designers and agencies will respond.

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