The media often offers mixed messages as to what the ideal standards for beauty are. For women, the pressure is strong to mimic the Photoshopped glamor of a female model adorning a magazine ad. On one hand, celebrities like Jessica Simpson or Kelly Clarkson are deemed as fat while anorexic waif-like Angelina Jolie or Nicole Ritchie are asked to eat a sandwich or two because they look unhealthily skinny. Ads from companies like Dove try to combat these messages bombarding women with Real Beauty campaigns, yet very little is done to address the fact that men also struggle with insecurity issues regarding their body.

Until now.

UK Tabloid, The Sun has taken four of their readers, “ordinary men,” to take off their pants and recreate some popular underwear ads. Gone are the spray tanned, oiled up, six packed, chiseled perfection of the likes of David Beckham or David Gandy. Replaced with hairy chests, beer bellies and 20+% body fat, these ordinary men are a far cry from the images that bombard us and distort our sense of what beauty and attractiveness really are.

Don’t get me wrong. I certainly enjoyed the ogling  researching involved to write this article, but it got me thinking about society’s perception of sexiness and appeal. Men are conditioned to hide their body issues and most use humor or cocky arrogance to mask their insecurities. What I love about these series of images is that the “ordinary” men are confident and sexy in their own right. I mean, a man that will strip to his skivvies and pose for a picture knowing that it’s going to be compared side by side to the same picture of David Beckham, now, that is truly sexy. And ladies, we all should take a cue from that.

Would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

(via @The Sun/Design Taxi)