Zach Miko just made history for Target, People reports.
The six-foot-six model and entertainer is the only truly plus size model featured on its website.
Even though Target has a “big and tall” section, as People notes, the models – aside from Miko – aren’t really “big and tall.”
“I never understood why looking at big and tall clothing, they show me these Abercrombie & Fitch-style, really cut, really fit guy,” Miko said to People. “These guys aren’t buying XXL tall T-shirts, these guys aren’t buying 42-inch pants, but they’re the guys you see modeling it.”
This is a common trend in the retail industry, and it highlights a huge double standard that men face.
Even though there is a clear demand for retailers to feature more plus size women in their advertisements, there is no clear demand for plus size male models, Yahoo Style reported this summer. Even though the media has reveled in the “dad bod,” modeling agencies simply aren’t hearing requests from men to feature larger models.
“As an agency, we don’t dictate demand, we respond to it,” DNA model manager Gene Kogan told Yahoo Style this summer. “Demand has to originate from designers, brands, or retailers. If there was a strong demand for plus-size male models, believe me, we would be scouting for them.”
Further, it wasn’t easy for Miko when he first started modeling for Target.
“There were supposed to be XXL and XL tall shirts, but instead regular mediums showed up, which doesn’t fit me!” he said to People. “The stylist actually had to cut every single shirt from the back up like a hospital gown, and then everything was pinned in place.”
But Miko is now using his platform to speak out about how men should feel comfortable with themselves, regardless of their size.
“Our perception of beauty in society in so warped in that it’s only this one thing,” he said to People. “We need to keep seeing bigger, smaller. We need to see every body type. We need to see that every type of person is beautiful.”