Here's a quick history lesson... Five years ago today a major clothing line fucked up.
And the people who got "hurt" were Big Men.
And Big Men are the subjects of the latest episode of Twisted History, which I host this week alongside Coach Duggs and my massive friend, Willie Colon.
You can listen here...
And now here's the story.
In late March 2016, American Eagle released a video announcing a new unit called "Aerieman" which was suppoosed to be the male counterpart to Aerie, its lingerie and intimates line... A line that has always been marketed with inclusive beauty and love-your-body messages.
Even though the story is 5 years old, I just looked at the website for Aerie, and I see they still offer bras all the way up to cup size H, so apparently the brand continues to be conscious of the plight of "big girls."
(It's Holy Thursday, man… Get your mind out of the gutter.)
So this fresh concept, Aerieman, launches an ad video for their new line, and that video featured four men… Two traditional models and two bigger guys… And the four of them were playfully doing yoga, dancing, and taking selfies in their underwear while talking about the sexiness of confidence.
The news of a major label showing interest in a previously ignored demographic created interest in the fashion and retail world, and the whole thing turned into a positive human interest story.
People were praising American Eagle for giving plus-size men the underwear campaign they've all been waiting for… Fashionista called their message "empowering."
(and it's a big butt)
… A week later, American Eagle admitted the video was an April Fools joke.
And the backlash was HUGE.
By taking it back, American Eagle seemed to be saying that a man expressing body confidence makes a good punchline—especially if that guy is plus-size… God knows if they would've done the same thing with a plus-sized women's campaign, Ashley Graham and her band of zoftig goddesses woulda burnt American Eagle's home offices to the fucking ground.
The company released a statement insisting the sentiment was real, and that the video was not an April Fools' joke, but rather an awareness-raising hoax used to draw attention to their commitment to no longer retouch male models.
Either way, it bristled the fur on a lot of fat hairy backs, and it's one prank I am sure AE wishes they could get back.
Happy April Fools Day and take a report.