The body-positive movement is most often associated with women. Women have come together to share their stories and open up about how unrealistic beauty standards have affected their lives — and it’s incredible. But what’s even better? Even more people are joining the self-love party. With the help of brands like Torrid, plus-size male models are being featured on Instagram.
Instagram has played an important role in stimulating the body-positivity conversation. It’s a platform where many women choose to open up about their bodies and share messages of self-acceptance. And Torrid specifically has always been a bastion for body inclusivity. But some people weren’t happy to see the brand featuring a male model donning Torrid’s new Lisa Frank collection — and for some pretty heteronormative, gender-specific reasons.
Luckily, the internet clapped back at the haters. Hard.
The fierce photo featured male model Troy Solomon (@abearnamedtroy) promoting the brand’s new Lisa Frank line, rocking a tank top, bad ass leggings, and a pink shell purse. Honestly, we might be a little obsessed with all things Torrid Troy!
However, some fans of the brand weren’t happy to see a man advertising clothes and styles typically worn by women. “Umm…pretty weird. Is torrid actually advertising for men to wear torrid? Who’s in charge of this Instagram account? This is a woman’s store,” one commenter wrote under the post. “Closing my Torrid account now,” griped another.
Fortunately, there are plenty of wonderful people on the internet and many quickly responded in support of the brand and Troy by saying body-positivity isn’t exclusive to any gender. A former Torrid employee said,
Another shopper said, “All you people saying negative nasty things, please don’t shop at torrid because you’re part of the finger pointing problem. If he is happy, I am happy for him.”
And isn’t that what it’s really all about — just being happy and feeling amazing in the skin you’re in? We definitely think so.
In an interview with Mic, Troy said that he was not surprised by the reaction; however, he makes an important point that the movement to inclusivity can’t have exceptions. We agree, and we hope to see more brands continue to march toward total gender and body inclusivity, free of judgement.