NEW YORK (AP) — The debate over unrealistic body ideals for women is a long-standing one, but the same discussion over expectations for men hasn't reached the same cultural pitch.

That was the motivation behind Ryan's Secret, a different kind of show at New York Fashion Week that featured plus size men proudly baring skin.

"Especially being a big guy myself, going for job interviews, if you're not looking like some studly guy, sometimes you don't get the job. Just like Barbie has the same issues, Ken has even more,” said 36-year-old Joseph Diaz, one of the models at Wednesday night's show.

Diaz walked in black embellished bicycle shorts and a matching cape for the gods-themed show.

Organizers want to bring awareness to young men who experience depression and commit suicide because of body shaming and bullying. They also point to steroid abuse and men who submit themselves to punishing gym routines to attain superhero bodies.

The message from sponsor Ryan's Secret was clear: End male body shaming.

“Yeah, I'm body positive, I think it's a good message to show people that you love your body, you love yourself,” said model Daniel Jean. "You know it's hard out there the way the media portrays you, you know, especially when you're a big guy.”

Jean walked in royal purple satin. He was among 15 plus size men to participate.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments