Would You Like To See More Everyday Guys Modelling?

I really like the idea of more of the everyday guy modelling plus size clothing while wearing boots from shoes online in the spotlight, as opposed to the stereotypical photo-shopped model you see in the media. I hope you enjoy this article of a ‘plus-size’ everyday guy who is pushing for the idea of the word plus size to change people’s perception. Enjoy!

 

Do men want to see more ‘average-looking’ blokes showcasing their clothes?

Zach Miko is 6ft 6in, has a 40in waist, and is the first plus-size male model signed to a major agency, IMG, which looks after models including Lara Stone, Freja Beha and Gigi Hadid. Zach’s portfolio includes American retail giant Target and his future prospects includes the UK’s largest plus-size fashion store Your. The signing of the 26 year old, highlights how the ‘plus size’ male modelling industry is changing.

Despite the demand, there are currently no plus-size male models on the books of a major agency in the UK. Three agencies that focus on plus-size male models exist in Germany but their influence rarely extends beyond German borders (Miko is from Connecticut). In menswear, plus-size refers to XL and up (higher than a 42in chest), but can stretch to anyone very tall and well built. For perspective, 32 inch waist male models are typically used by The Guardian

Coined “brawn” by IMG (and the brother of “curve”, its female division), it marks an attempt to remove the “plus-size” moniker and, the agency hopes, presents a more realistic male body shape wearing everyday guys clothing, and not just the women’s division targeted at womens shoes and clothing.

 

You’ve been signed to IMG as its first plus-size or “brawn” male model. Congratulations. So far, you’ve only modelled for Target and yet your profile has blown up overnight. Why do you think that is?

There are very few plus-sized male models in the US. I think it made a splash because Target is a big retailer. But they just put me in the shoot with classically sized male models, so all the fashion blogs were like: did Target sneak a plus size guy into their site? But, yes, it has been quick. The first published sales copywriting came out in July, the first article came out in September and here we are.

 

Do you think people would have noticed sooner had it been a plus-size female model in the shoot?

If it was a women’s site showing off womens ankle boots, and there had been a non-model in the lineup, yeah, sure.

 

Why? Do you think people are less interested or aware of plus-size male models, or the lack thereof?

It’s still a very new thing. There is still no definition for it. This whole idea of “brawn” is loosely based on me.

 

There have been several campaigns to change the way we talk about plus-size models, in a bid to change the way we view “larger” models, including #droptheplus. Is being called a brawn model an acknowledgement of that?

I don’t find “plus size” offensive, but I think it’s the same as fat in that plus size has grown to have a negative connotation. Plus means additional, outside; it keeps pushing that label of not being “normal”. If you see the word “brawn”, you think about physical strength and power, just as “curve” suggests sexy and confident, as opposed to “big”.

 

Why do you think plus-size male models have yet to move into the mainstream industry?

There has been a lot of support in women’s modelling – models such as Ashley Graham and Tess Holliday have been making huge waves. Seeing someone like Graham, who would normally be shunned, was awesome. I always had my own body-image struggle. With men, there is still a lot of bravado and false masculinity to get through.

 

What do you mean?

You’re not supposed to care about how you look. If you have issues, you aren’t supposed to talk about it. It’s considered weak or unmasculine. Which is stupid. It’s about having feelings that make you human. I think, even now with the progression, you still have that 1950s male mentality of men being strong and emotionless.

 

Do you think your presence in the male modelling world will help things?

If the plus sized digital content strategy makes men realise that it’s OK to care about how you look, or even feel bad about it and want to change … I have had body issues all my life and that can make you insecure. You project those feelings onto others and that can damage relationships. It creates this vicious cycle. It could all be avoided if you opened up and said I do or don’t feel good about myself.

 

Is it about how you see yourself or how others see you?

I was between diets and trying to change the way I look for so long going to the physio. As an actor [Miko is a member of the T Schreiber Studio and has appeared in Limitless], I was told by every casting director that I was too big. But I think I was trying to make other people more comfortable. I have always been a big guy, I was picked on as a kid, and that’s where it came from. We live in a society where “big” and “fat” have become insults, and “skinny”, “little” and “petite” have become compliments. We have come to correlate a negative meaning with “big” and “fat”.

 

You aren’t exactly big, either.

Yeah. And I think men want to see a normal-looking guy modelling their clothes and even shoes online brands that appeal to the everyday guy.

 

But then there are issues related to being overweight or “fat” in a health sense.

I am a big advocate of health. I just don’t think you have to be a twig tobe healthy. Other people don’t have a right to project an idea of unhealthy on to you if you have this extra weight. I think labelling people who wear plus size clothes as unhealthy is unfair. You don’t know what their health is. People think I’m a slob and that I don’t take care of myself. But I do. For starters, I cycle every day. But you do start to internalise that feeling.

Unexpected Health Advantages of Wood

Believe it or not, that timber table is doing more good than you thought. Picking furniture for your home is often a matter of taste, instead of a mindful effort for your health. In fact, the health advantages of specific furniture might never enter your mind when choosing a coffee table, lounge or kitchen bench top. That may just change, thanks to a brand-new report which associates our choice of furniture to our wellbeing.

The report, launched today by Planet Ark Environmental Foundation has actually discovered there is one naturally-derived product which can really benefit your health – wood. “We know that employees are less stressed out and more efficient, students learn much better, patients recover quicker, and individuals are usually better and calmer in indoor locations which include wood aspects,” states Planet Ark’s David Rowlinson.

The report, which was released to accompany World Wood Day, intends to press the focus onto natural products when selecting furniture for your house, using research to support its claims of health gain from wood. The research study recognizes that lumber has the capability to lower one’s heart rate and reduce the tension reaction in students and employees. It also assists in speeding healing time after surgical treatment.

Plus, lumber has another benefit – when sourced properly, it’s extremely eco-friendly. “Properly sourced, accredited wood is the significant building product that helps take on climate change. Wood is eco-friendly, it takes in carbon from the environment, and there are less carbon emissions connected with its production compared with carbon-intensive products such as concrete or steel,” Rowlinson states.

There is the ecological sustainability of crafted lumber, mostly from wood’s capability to keep carbon, but most importantly, the brand-new research study is around resident health and behaviour to validate its use of lumber in structure environments like schools and online tutoring centres or tutor services.

Another research study performed by the Human Research Institut in Austria exposes the many substantial advantages of wood structures from the engineered timber walls to architectural trusses for school students. The research study was based upon 4 classrooms featuring wood construction, with psychophysiological measurements performed on 52 students from lumber classrooms and basic classrooms throughout an academic year.

Substantial distinctions were observed in the health criteria of students from the wood and basic class. Students in the wood classrooms displayed reduced heart beats, exposing decreased school-related tension levels. This research study mirrors a report commissioned by Planet Ark in 2014 which discovered that direct exposure to wood items and interiors might produce comparable health advantages to those developed by hanging around in nature.

Released in the lead up to World Wood Day on Saturday March 21, the ‘Wood – Real estate, Health, Humankind’ report checked out many research studies evaluating the health and wellbeing advantages of wood interiors in houses, companies, and locations of learning and recovery.

BVN will hire numerous new age crafted wood items from around the globe for its approaching change and addition of a 1970s concrete structure in NSW. The group will recondition and extend an old Telstra training centre structure at North Strathfield in Sydney, which has ended up being the brand-new house for the Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Primary School.

The task is the 2nd phase in the overall redevelopment of the structure, the very first being the fitout of the ground floor which opened in April 2015 for students in kindergarten to year 2 and their English and math tutors. The 2nd phase of the job is much bigger and concerns all the structure’s levels and its external skin. Upon conclusion, the structure will be the home of 450 primary school students and it has been allocated as a design template for the future of central city school styles.

However while renders of the completed school stand out, and its claim to be an environmentally-friendly design for adaptive reuse in the context of our growing cities is sound, it is the structure’s composition and interior surfaces that are presently making headings. The structure has been called the very first Australian school of the timber age and will be fit with a brand-new glulam and glue laminated site frame, cross laminated lumber (CLT) walls and a distinct CLT slab/acoustic ceiling system.

All signs from BVN are that it will aim for Europe to be the source of the lumber which, consisting of the shipping of products, is anticipated to considerably decrease total construct time for the task.

Autism Is Not Always A Gift

I was reading on a blog and I came across this very well written and insightful article written by Mandy Farmer, who is a beautiful mother of a lovely young boy with Autism. I found this very moving and I just had to share this with everyone, to help educate people just how hard it is for young ones growing up with autism. I hope you find it just as interesting as I do.

Please Don’t Tell Me Autism Is a Gift

Every time I sit down to write, I often already have a positive message to end on in mind. I don’t have that today. Today I am sad, I am angry and I am coming from a place that I don’t often go: a place with walls papered by self-pity and lighting dimmed by exhaustion. We’ve all been there, but of course, we try not to live there.

I read story after story that highlights the aspects of having a child with autism spectrum disorder that are positive and uplifting. I’ve written many posts that do the same. I think these stories are important; they help spread awareness and acceptance, they celebrate our children holistically, which is great because our children deserve to be celebrated.

I wonder, though, if sometimes we sugar-coat or put a positive spin on reality to make ourselves feel better or maybe to avoid coming off as a victim. After all, bloggers who have written more negatively about their children with autism are often scrutinized and demonized. Another reason I usually stay away from the negative: I don’t want my child (or others with autism) demonized or people to think any less of him.

As positive as I try to stay, there’s a reality with which we have to contend. That reality usually gets to make a short appearance in my blog in sentences like “Of course we have our challenges” or “And even though he struggles…” Anyone affected by autism knows those phrases are emotionally charged.

But I started thinking. People outside of our household, people outside of our community, must all be scratching their heads and wondering this: If our children and their autism are so great and so gifted, why are autism parents so vocal about needing help and advocating for their children? Why would a savant be labeled “disabled” or need to receive special services from a school district?

Autism is a spectrum disorder. No two people on the spectrum are the same. Many of our children are not savants. Many of our children are not even on target with their development for their age. Many of our children will live with us for the rest of their lives.

So, please, don’t tell me autism is a gift. When my child has been screaming every 30 minutes all day long when we stay at our favourite Lorne accommodation or romantic holiday, or we have to go to the store and he screams at the checkout, the cashier telling me he’ll be OK and will be great with numbers when he grows up is not what I want to hear.

When I look into my son’s eyes when he doesn’t understand his surroundings and his anxiety and fear are palpable, there’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do to take that fear away. You cannot look into his panicking gaze as he’s shaking and cowering from everyday stimuli and tell me this is a gift or an enlightening experience, and trying to cheer them up by surprising them with kids shoes online only last momentarily..

Please don’t tell me his autism is a gift when I take his little sister to the hospital for a concussion resulting from an impulsive outburst he could not control.

When I see his older brother with tears in his eyes yet again because his little brother doesn’t want to play with him or has lashed out at him, I don’t accept that this is a gift. He’s hurting and his needs are put on the back burner every day; I see no positive in that other than I’m hopeful it will build character and instill compassion in him.

As I bang my head against a wall just trying to get my child an education like everyone else is entitled to, I wonder if outsiders know just how “challenging” it is. We are in a district in a state that won’t even provide classes for preschool children with special needs. So I found a private preschool with a small centre for autism that would take him, but he has so much anxiety about going every morning that he screams the whole way there and as his teachers carry him in. I have a laundry list of medically prescribed therapies that I have to work around the clock to access for our child. Once we finally have established providers, we drive and we schedule and usually have some type of appointment every day. These are not ground-breaking therapies that are going to have my child doing quantum physics or painting masterpieces; these are necessary to get my child to function high enough to dress himself and feed himself and to allow him to tolerate being in a room with everyday noises. They say that going away with your child to a pet friendly accommodation somewhere is good therapy, but sometimes it can really scare the lovely animals away.

And then there’s the loneliness. Please don’t tell me autism is a gift when my child and his siblings are no longer invited to birthday parties because parents don’t want one of my child’s meltdowns to ruin their kid’s special day. When I stop having friends outside of the autism community because other people don’t want to hear about autism and how it’s consuming your life, it doesn’t feel like a gift. Unfortunately as much as it consumes our lives, it consumes our conversations too. And that doesn’t make for great girls’-night-out conversation. I can’t say I blame former friends for throwing in the towel, but that doesn’t make it any less lonely. The gift that keeps giving.

I know this post will offend some, but just as my opinion is that autism is not a gift, you, of course, are entitled to a different one. For me, autism is exhausting, and I feel like every minute of every day is spent trying to break my child free from the anxiety that consumes him.

Please don’t tell me autism is a gift. My child is a gift; his autism is a disability.