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Hot Men No Longer The Focus In Underwear Ads, According To New York Times

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Shirtless hunks may be the new big thing in food commercials, but underwear advertisements are featuring them less.

So reports Eric Wilson in the New York Times this week. Wilson sat in on an advertising strategy meeting for underwear label 2(x)ist, where designers, executives and PR consultants discussed the company's move away from using ripped, muscular models in their campaigns.

Designer Jason Scarlatti told the Times, “We are going for something a little more statuesque, and a little less steroid-y.” The company has a strict "no stuffing" policy, the article reports (thanks for that detail), and says it's trying to recruit models that straight male customers can actually relate to rather than bronzed, super-chiselled hunks.

According to Wilson, 2(x)ist is changing its strategy based on the sense that shoppers are tired of seeing the same types of male bodies -- often without faces -- advertising these products. Fashion PR consultant James LaForce told the Times that showing models' personalities and stories would also help: “We are giving the models an identity, so they are not just a piece of meat.”

So are women's underwear companies taking similar steps?

We probably won't see the Victoria's Secret Angels showing body diversity any time soon, but H&M has started using "full-figured" mannequins in the lingerie departments of some European stores and plus-size models on their swimwear website.

In 2010, networks censored a Lane Bryant ad featuring a plus size model, deeming it inappropriate for prime time television. We'd like to think that wouldn't happen today.

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