Why Men Should Wear Lingerie - FOXERS
One fateful afternoon in early 2015, I was handed a bag containing a pair of FOXERS. Being the somewhat cynical 40 something man I am, I inspected the cute gray boxer briefs and noticed they had pockets on each side, “Where did these happy pants come from and why do they have pockets?”, I asked. It turns out that my gray FOXERS were a gift from the owner of a local business here in Atlanta, April Lynn Spring, who makes lingerie and the pockets were for my iPhone. Little did I know a piece of clothing would revolutionize my appreciation for my own body. The Spring of 2015 was a low point for me personally. Through a series of choices and misplaced modifiers, I felt like the man I had groomed and developed with great care for 44 years was undesirable. It wasn’t like I woke up one morning feeling out of my body, it was a slowly building process that happened over time.
Insecurity about how we look is part and parcel of living in modern western culture with its focus on idealized forms of beauty. More relevant for me was recognizing I was looking for validation of my desirability from external sources - ouch! To top it all off, I know better…which is to say I am a very intelligent man and I am aware of the studies done on body image, media and self-esteem. We are influenced by what we see...but...how we feel inside is what makes us beautiful.
What does any of this have to do with FOXERS? One afternoon, I was home alone…with my FOXERS…and decided to try them on. I kind of liked them and decided to check out the brand online and long story short I discovered they used instagram and the hashtag #myfoxers as a promotion tool. April has since changed the wording on the site but in 2015 it read: “Are you wondering what our products look like on real women?” I looked down at my FOXERS and thought, “women…what about men?” Needless to say I felt like I had been personally challenged. So I stepped in front of the mirror in my boudoir and snapped a few burlesque images and posted one to instagram later that day.
Putting my penchant for irony aside, posting an image of myself in tightly cut male lingerie was bold and strangely powerful. It required me to stand in front of a mirror and look at myself from different angles to get a decent picture. I remember thinking “oh, hey there, nice body” and then I noticed how the Foxers were designed to be flattering and fun and sassy and in that moment I fell in love with some part of myself all over again or maybe it was for the first time…hard to say.
Clothing can hide or reveal, it can enforce or challenge cultural norms and it literally comes in contact with our largest sense organ, our skin, constantly. What we wear influences how/what we feel and the clothing we CHOOSE to wear can be a reflection of how we feel about ourselves! If someone had said to me, “Wear these boxer briefs and you will feel more sexy or desirable” I would have scoffed at them. Certainly we should not expect external objects to solve our internal conflicts. However, negating the very real feedback loop between the choices we make and the products and brands we use to support our lives is also myopic. Aesthetics and beauty do play a role in our lives, so picking brands and products that feel sensual and well designed can impact the quality of our lives.
My experience has been that a brand of lingerie, designed to be comfortable and sexy, got me to step in front of the mirror and really look at myself…which ultimately led to a celebration of who I am as I am. It also reinforced a principle I have believed for most of my life…looking, performing, being your personal best really feels amazing. Yeah, we all fail and get banged up and as much as Cate Blanchett and Henry Cavill stir my desire for inherent perfection…beauty starts from the inside of each of us. My point here is not that we need external things to make us feel whole or beautiful or complete. Rather, each of us needs to stand in front of the metaphorical mirror and take a good deep look into our own eyes…there is an amazing soul in there dressed up in an awesome human suit. LOVE your human suit, take care of your body, put good foods into the machine that will carry you through this one amazing life and don’t be afraid to celebrate just how awesome it is to be alive. Every time I put on my FOXERS, I am reminded of the ritual of returning to myself...and that makes me smile.
FOXERS Is One Of John's Lifestyle Brand Sponsors.