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

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

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

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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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.

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Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

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Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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