American Eagle’s Body-Positive Men’s Underwear Campaign Was, Somehow, A Joke
American Eagle released a press statement today revealing that their body-positive #AerieMan campaign was an April Fools’ joke, “all in good fun to parody the #AerieReal campaign by Aerie, a leader in body-positive marketing.” …What?
Everyone is baffled as to how exactly a parody of body-positivity is itself body-positive, except for American Eagle, who congratulated themselves for being “not afraid to take a risk and have a laugh in support of a good cause.” Which, in regular-people parlance, translates to “tone-deaf and oblivious.”
The campaign came off as real, and it garnered plenty of support, featuring non-traditional male models for their underwear campaign. But instead of featuring non-traditional male models, American Eagle has pledged not to retouch their male models going forward. It’s hard to criticize the decision to not retouch their Adonis-like male models, but it disappoints that what looked like a brave stand for body diversity was in fact a joke. It’s hard to tell what exactly the joke is, here.
I am and always will be totally over April Fools’, and this is bad news not just because American Eagle wound up mocking body-positivity for men, but also because they started so early. Can we not? I am counting down the seconds until this horrid day is over.