Myer customers have expressed anger at the “toxic” body representation in the company’s latest underwear campaign, claiming a double gender norm is at play.
Reddit users have been furious about photos on Myer’s website featuring three female models, but no less than Insta-perfect males.
The women depicted in the campaign were of various ages, body shapes, and ethnicities, but, as many noted, the men were young and “hunted”.
“As a woman, I can say it’s great to see a realistic/representative range of female body types appearing in catalogs,” said one user.
“But it pisses me off not seeing the same for men. I have a teenage son, and I don’t want him growing up feeling pressured by unrealistic body standards.
“Not every guy grows up looking like a jacked action figure — sure, some do, but portraying this body type as the only one aspiring to is toxic as f**k.”
Camera icons were first posted on Reddit. Credit: Meleva Thorn
However, the same user also pointed out that at first glance, the models used to advertise the products among the three women did not seem as diverse as the one pictured above.
“If you scroll down through their lingerie section, their product models are 99% ultra-attractive, white, thin women,” she wrote.
“So Myer still maintains ridiculous beauty standards for both women and men. There are plenty of other companies out there that are doing better on this point.”
Camera IconOther products are advertised further down the web page. Credit: Meleva Thorn
Another Reddit user commented on the inaccessibility of the ideal physique the company presented to male customers.
“To have the bodies of these men, you have to commit yourself to a lifestyle centered on a diet, strength training, etc.,” they said.
“Some do it because they enjoy those activities and the aura they get, but for most men, it’s unrealistic to reach and maintain that level, plus a full-time job and a family.”
Camera Icon Men’s Underwear is sold on Myer’s website. Credit: Meleva Thorn
However, Reddit users were not all in agreement on whether showing overweight models was the answer.
“I think this is done with death, but there are also valid arguments against the use of unhealthy body types in advertising,” said one commenter.
“I don’t want my son to grow up feeling like it’s okay to have a beer belly.”
Another asked if “we want to normalize obesity?”
“There’s a middle ground where models are healthy but don’t have to have super long legs or, in the case of men, have been extremely hungry for two days before the shoot,” they said.
A spokesperson for Myer told The Daily Mail that diversity is important to the company.
“Myer takes diversity seriously and has a proud track record of embracing and displaying the diversity of the Australian community in our advertising – this includes all body types, ages, heights, and backgrounds,” they said.
“In our latest campaign, we have a wide range of styles for men’s and women’s fashion, and you’ll see the diversity of models used as this campaign rolls out.”
The Daily Mail also wrote that Myer had “shared two photos to be rolled out at some point during the three-week campaign showing men without super-slim bodies.”
Myer appears to have changed the images since the issue was made public.
PerthNow has reached out to Myer for further comment.