This body-positive campaign for men’s underwear is fantastic.

Aerie's men's underwear line has the Internet talking.

American Eagle's underwear brand, Aerie, released a campaign targeting men earlier this year.

And it's absolutely lovely.


All photos and GIFs via Aerie Man/YouTube.

The first thing you might notice about Aerie Man is its models: They're not what you'd typically see in a men's underwear line.

The brand — launched with the tagline, "the real you is sexy" — features models of all shapes, sizes, and colors. And just like its line of women's underwear, the photos and videos of Aerie Man models go through "absolutely no retouching."

The campaign is lighthearted and a bit tongue-in-cheek (pun intended).

There's Kelvin, who loves using his selfie stick.

And Devon, who enjoys boogying down in his living room.

Doug is a yogi, and proud of it.

And Matt ... well, Matt likes taking out the garbage.

Here's the catch, though: This Aerie Man ad may all be one big practical joke.

Yes, it's still only March, but ... there's evidence to suggest this might be less of a genuine campaign and more of an April Fools' Day joke.

After the ads launched, several media outlets — like this one, that one, and others — wrote about the line, praising its inclusiveness. And with good reason! There's been much to celebrate when it comes to diverse body types in the male modeling industry lately (take, for instance, Zack Miko, the world's first "brawny" — not to be confused with "plus-size" — model).

But The Huffington Post, however, spotted something a little fishy after it reached out to American Eagle regarding the Aerie Man story: The word "spoof" was in the file names for the images Aerie provided. Is Aerie Man trying to pull a fast one on all of us?

Hmm.

So we wanted to get to the bottom of it. Is this ad campaign real? Or is it an early April Fools' Day prank?

When asked about the authenticity of the campaign, American Eagle told Upworthy the message behind the line is, in fact, genuine:

"American Eagle Outfitters is letting guys know they are more than their messy man buns and deeper than six-pack abs. It's about loving yourself inside and out!"

That answer is great, of course ... but for a company which, by the way, has a history of pulling pranks, it still skirted answering the actual question. We could all be getting punk'd this very moment.

Update (April 1, 2016): American Eagle released a statement noting the campaign was at least in part an April Fools' prank but reaffirmed its policy for no-retouching on men’s underwear or swim lines in the spirit of body positivity.

Regardless of American Eagle's intent, though, the is-it-or-isn't-it buzz around the story says a lot about how we talk about men's bodies.

Men certainly have body issues too. And according to research, this may be a growing problem.

"Bodyimage dissatisfaction is more prevalent among womenthan men," a recent study out of Canada's University of Victoria found. "But men may be becoming more negativelyaffected and women less so."

"Our findings support theassertion that men are more commonly becoming thetargets of mass media images, resulting in more emphasison the muscular ideal."

About 10 million of the approximate 30 million Americans who are suffering from a clinically significant eating disorder are men, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. And men in the LGBTQ community seem to be disproportionately affected.

So why do we so often overlook these guys when discussing body positivity?

What does it say that Aerie Men's campaign could even be a joke — that we'd see a campaign celebrating diverse male bodies and assume that it's just some lighthearted fun, mocking the idea that men have body insecurities too? Would a brand ever launch a body positivity campaign directed at women as a "joke"?

Fortunately, there's reason to hope men's beauty and fashion industries are evolving.

Even if Aerie Man's campaign is the result of an April Fool's spoof, the praise the campaign has received is a clear indicator that things are moving in the right direction.

"I’m glad brands and companies are starting to see the need for male body diversity in fashion," Kelvin Davis — yep, the same Kelvin sporting the undies above — told BuzzFeed. “I think it’s long overdue, and what better way than to celebrate men in diverse sizes?”

Check out Davis and his model friends in Aerie Man's campaign video below:

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Women around the world are constantly bombarded by traditional and outdated societal expectations when it comes to how they live their lives: meet a man, get married, buy a home, have kids.

Many of these pressures often come from within their own families and friend circles, which can be a source of tension and disconnect in their lives.

Global skincare brand SK-II created a new campaign exploring these expectations from the perspective of four women in four different countries whose timelines vary dramatically from what their mothers, grandmothers, or close friends envision for them.

SK-II had Katie Couric meet with these women and their loved ones to discuss the evolving and controversial topic of marriage pressure and societal expectations.

SK-II

"What happens when dreams clash with expectations? We're all supposed to hit certain milestones: a degree, marriage, a family," Couric said before diving into conversation with the "young women who are defining their own lives while navigating the expectations of the ones who love them most."

Maluca, a musician in New York, explains that she comes from an immigrant family, which comes with the expectation that she should live the "American Dream."

"You come here, go to school, you get married, buy a house, have kids," she said.

Her mother, who herself achieved the "American Dream" with hard work and dedication when she came to the United States, wants to see her daughter living a stable life.

"I'd love for her to be married and I'd love her to have a big wedding," she said.

Chun Xia, an award-winning Chinese actress who's outspoken about empowering other young women in China, said people question her marital status regularly.

"I'm always asked, 'Don't you want to get married? Don't you want to start a family and have kids like you should at your age?' But the truth is I really don't want to at this point. I am not ready yet," she said.

In South Korea, Nara, a queer-identifying artist, believes her generation should have a choice in everything they do, but her mother has a different plan in mind.

SK-II

"I just thought she would have a job and meet a man to get married in her early 30s," Nara's mom said.

But Nara hopes she can one day marry her girlfriend, even though it's currently illegal in her country.

Her mother, however, still envisions a different life for her daughter. "Deep in my heart, I hope she will change her mind one day," she said.

Maina, a 27-year-old Japanese woman, explains that in her home country, those who aren't married by the time they're 25 to 30, are often referred to as "unsold goods."

Her mom is worried about her daughter not being able to find a boyfriend because she isn't "conventional."

"I really want her to find the right man and get married, to be seen as marriage material," she said.

After interviewing the women and their families, Couric helped them explore a visual representation of their timelines, which showcased the paths each woman sees her life going in contrast with what her relatives envision.

SK-II

"For each young woman, two timelines were created. One represents the expectations. The other, their aspirations," Couric explained. "There's often a disconnect between dreams and expectations. But could seeing the difference lead to greater understanding?"

The women all explored their timelines, which included milestones like having "cute babies," going back to school, not being limited by age, and pursuing dreams.

By seeing their differences side-by-side, the women and their families were able to partake in more open dialogue regarding the expectations they each held.

One of the women's mom's realized her daughter was lucky to be born during a time when she has the freedom to make non-traditional choices.

SK-II

"It looks like she was born in the right time to be free and confident in what she wants to do," she said.

"There's a new generation of women writing their own rules, saying, 'we want to do things our way,' and that can be hard," Couric explained.

The video ends with the tagline: "Forge your own path and choose the life you want; Draw your own timeline."

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