So occasionally I like to look at men’s magazines just to see what they’re doing, especially since most of my content tends to be female-centered. Today I happened to be on GQ and I came across an article about how to how to buy a men’s swimsuit. The article claimed to have the solution for all different body types. So naturally, I was really excited because I’ve never seen a men’s magazine do this – so I looked at the article, but I was really disappointed. You can read the full article here. Since I do think the article contained useful tips for a well-fitting bathing suit, I will post the advice that was given in the article. And then after that, I’ll tell you what pissed me off about it. IN GENERAL:

Andy Introini

Andy Introini, 23, Carpenter

1. Shorter Is Better When you’re wearing a swimsuit, you’re damn near naked. In public. So the last thing you want is a pair of knee-length board shorts that make you look like a pudgy tween. This summer, go shorter. A suit that fits will make you look trim, confident, and manly—and even let your thighs get some sun. 2. Go for a Fly Swimsuits always cling to you as you rise out of the surf or the pool. But the seams and construction of a fly add a little armor to keep your package private. 3. Keep the Front Flat A flat front sits comfortably on even the softest waist, while a grabbing elastic band often emphasizes the fat you’re trying to conceal. 4. Know Your Brand Everyone under the sun looks good in this pocketed, lined, triple-stitched high-quality nylon suit (it comes in more than twenty-five colors) by the decades-old Parisian brand Hartford. 5. Rethink Those Board Shorts, Man! Buy ‘Em Short but Not Tight Surf trunks haven’t disappeared, they’ve simply been brought up to date. While certain characteristics have never changed—you should still look for flat-front trunks with a Velcro fly and a lace tie—the cut is now more Dr. J and less Dwayne Wade.
Yuvi Alpert

Yuvi Alpert, 24, jewelry designer

Simple Solutions for Skinny Guys • First of all, if you’re a bit scrawny, quit whining—you’ve got it easy. All you have to do is make sure you don’t have too much swimsuit (an oversize suit will make you look even smaller). • What you want are short trunks with narrow leg openings: if the suit’s too long you’ll look like you’re in hand-me-down Bermudas, and if the leg openings are too wide, you’ll look like you’re in a hand-me-down cheerleading skirt. • So keep your trunks trim as you can, and feel free to experiment with vivid patterns and colors—something most of the big guys on the beach can’t get away with. Got Confidence? Go for a Suit that Grabs Attention
Nick Scapa

Nick Scapa, 26, music producer

There are right and wrong ways to get noticed. Wrong way: shin-length board shorts with cargo pockets and a tattoo print of a fire-breathing dragon. Right way: classic, surf-inspired graphics in a variety of bright—but not obnoxious—colors. Just remember, you’ll be calling attention to yourself, so at least have something resembling a six-pack. Carrying Extra Weight? Learn to Make Less of a Splash If you’re soft in the middle, bet on black and don’t hedge. Colors and patterns will draw attention to your heft, while black helps hide your size without sacrificing cool points. Resist the urge to over compensate for your girth by hiding it under a huge suit—the leg openings should still be modest (comfortably so) and the shorts should hit a couple of inches above your knee.

Get Active in a Simple Athletic Suit A little nervous about going shorter? Make the transition smooth with racing stripes. They come across as athletic, not flashy or fashiony, and—in the case of vertical stripes—the visual effect makes even a truncated suit look longer. With racing stripes, stick to the same primary colors that Formula One drivers use: black, white, red, and yellow.
Brian Valdez

Brian Valdez, 20, lifeguard

The Problem: Too modest Brian doesn’t look bad, exactly—just young and a little sloppy. He’s in great shape. Why hide it under ballooning board shorts. The Fix: Sport trunks Brian actually looks like an adult in this slim, short suit. When he’s 60 with a grandpa gut, he’ll be glad we got him to show off a little.
Eric Garzon

Eric Garzon, 23, grad student

The Problem: Way too long Eric is in a suit that’s obviously two sizes too large. Why wear something that will leave you pale from your waist to your shins? The Fix: Surf trunks Now you know that Eric works as hard on his legs as he does on his upper body. And these patterned trunks still provide plenty of coverage for his big frame. *      *       *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *       *       *      *      *      *      *      *      *

Now, I think it’s great to see a men’s magazine give fashion advice about swimsuit fittings – it’s not something I see very often and I think that’s awesome. I also love that they compared an ill-fitting swimsuit to a better fitting one in the last two examples, so that readers can see how the right fit can enhance their bodies. What got under my skin was a few things:
First, there was a model to represent someone with a “skinny” build, but there wasn’t a larger model to represent someone “carrying extra weight.” I also didn’t like how the copy read “Learn to make less of a splash.” I might be looking too much into it, but I felt like that might imply that heavier people should try not to attract attention to themselves and try to fade into the background.

Then, all of the guys are pretty much the same build. GQ’s commentary suggests that they’re just ordinary guys, and if that’s true, the magazine went out of their way to only pick one type of ordinary guy. Regular guys come in all shapes and sizes and they need to celebrated, too! Regardless, I hope that any men reading this do find the fashion advice useful. I would definitely be interested in what you guys think about this! Also, do you think that the styles GQ is promoting are realistic for all different shapes and sizes?