“We have been told for so long that beauty is this one thing,
but times are changing. It’s a new conversation.
Beauty comes in every variety.
If you want to be a model, go do it.
Dress up, take pictures, post on your Instagram,
tell a story, be proud of who you are right now.
Put yourself out there.
You never know who is watching.”
– Zach Miko
The 15th of March was a seemingly uncontroversial Tuesday. I woke up, did all the mundane sh*t you do before stepping a foot outside the door. Like everyone else I checked social media for social news – what’s getting people off and tuning them in. I had heard about Zach Miko when researching for my article Male Models, When Will They Be Taken Seriously?. He was the first plus-size Male Model to be promoted in Target US catalog campaign. Miko, standing at 6’6”, wears an XXL. Calm down, big boy.
Back to Tuesday. Model management powerhouse IMG – responsible for reppin’ SUPERModels; Gisele Bündchen, Tyson Ballou, Miranda Kerr, Stephanie Seymour, RJ Rogenski, Alek Wek and Milla Jovovich (to name a few, and then a few more) – officially signed Zach Miko to their multinational, multi-billion dollar business. Media outlets and the blogs tweeted in concert. Wasn’t this inclusion? A decision representing the minority of the majority? To be fair, the struggle is real.
The 26 year-old model told People magazine, “I never understood why looking at big and tall clothing, they show me these Abercrombie & Fitch-style, really cut, really fit guys. These guys aren’t buying XXL tall T-shirts, these guys aren’t buying 42-inch pants, but they’re the guys you see modeling it […] With everything that’s been going on with women’s fashion and body inclusivity and self-image, it’s interesting that male brands have [just started] stepping up to do the same thing… It’s fun to be on the precipice of that.”
At All My Friends Are Models we pride ourselves in promoting body positivity and pro-life (pro-living and pro-loving). Our mission statement is to be a hub for body confidence – from Models to Mothers and everything in-between. Men are just as important in front of the camera as behind. When we see influential conglomerates like IMG supporting the ‘everyday’ man (though Miko also sings and acts professionally so he really isn’t the ‘everyday man’. He’s more of a ‘someday’ man – for those of us who know plenty of men who don’t do either of those things), one can’t help but hope. Who wouldn’t want to be in that gang? Congratulations big boy! We see you shining over there and hope you continue to encourage body inclusion, positivity and that bigger can be better – within moderation.