By now, you’ve probably seen American Eagle Outfitters new #AerieMAN campaign featuring male models who represent a range of body types, including a plus size guy. That guy is Kelvin Davis, the mind behind style blog Notoriously Dapper, and the sole male admin for Eff Your Beauty Standards, a social media movement started by plus model Tess Holliday. I talked to Kelvin about his blog, making strides in the body positivity space, and what it’s like doing a photo shoot in your underwear.
Why did you start Notoriously Dapper?
I started Notoriously Dapper almost 3 years ago after having a bad shopping experience in Express. I remember feeling low and very self conscious, and I vowed to never feel that way again.
Has style always been important to you, or is it a recent thing?
I have always been into style. My mom started letting me pick out my clothes when I was 7 because I was too picky about what I liked. That helped me developed my style!
When you’re a bigger guy, it’s hard to find clothes that fit. Where do you shop?
I shop at a ton of places! Frank and Oak for shirts, and pants from J. Crew Factory, Brook Brothers or Ace Rivington. I usually have to get everything I buy altered to fit the aesthetic I like in my clothing. Tailoring is my best friend.
From what I’ve read, it sounds like the idea of doing an underwear shoot took you outside of your comfort zone. A lot of people wouldn’t have the courage to do something like this. What were you trying to say by agreeing to do it?
It was definitely outside of my comfort zone. I have only been modeling since October, and the shoots I have done were for Chubbies shorts. I had never been shot in my underwear, but after feeling the energy and seeing everyone else be so positive, it was nothing. I enjoyed it after the first day! I knew that if I did this, it would help thousands and maybe millions feel confident about who they are. I hope it helps reassure people that the real you is sexy!
What do you think about IMG signing Zach Miko to their Brawn division? Does it feel like a step forward?
I think it’s awesome – Zach is a cool dude. I definitely feel like it’s a step forward, and we are making progress. Slowly, but surely!
You’re an admin for EffYourBeautyStandards. How did you get involved?
Well, what I was doing on my blog and IG was starting to make waves. It caught the attention of Tess Holliday and she reached out to me about being the male voice for her movement. I accepted, and the rest is history. She’s an amazing friend and person. I love her to death! No one understands how much she deals with, she’s a true trooper!!
What’s next for you?
I plan on doing more modeling, and focusing on Notoriously Dapper. My hope is to just inspire people to love themselves and always know they are good enough. Confidence is key in life and everyone deserves to feel that!
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