Since its 2010 launch, the London-based queer publication meatzine has billed itself as “a smoking hot celebration” of “real guys” who defy the ways that gay men are often portrayed in advertising and popular culture. Their 2018 calendar could be the magazine’s boldest (and hottest) endeavor to date, featuring 12 un-retouched images of meatzine models wearing nothing but their birthday suits ― and a smile.
Check out the preview images below, and get a sneak peek behind the scenes in the video above. For the NSFW photos, you’ll have to buy the calendar.
Adrian Lourie, who is meatzine’s founder and editor, told HuffPost that his publication has been producing a calendar for the past three years, but opted “to do something a bit different” with the 2018 edition. Noting that chiseled models in typical beefcake poses “does nothing for my self-esteem or my body image,” Lourie strove to present “a bit of an alternative view.” He aimed to go against “the prevailing image of gay men as young, with perfect, porn-ready bodies.”
As playfully provocative as the images are, Lourie hopes they shed light on the oft-overlooked impacts of body shaming among gay men. A January survey of 5,000 gay men conducted by Britain’s Attitude magazine found that 49 percent said they were “unhappy” with their bodies. (An additional 10 percent described themselves as “very unhappy” with their bodies.)
“These are ordinary men who all have their own hang-ups and issues, like any of us,” he added.
Some of the models said that baring all for the calendar has already helped them see themselves in a more self-assured light. Though posing nude “wasn’t an easy decision,” cover star Fernando said he’s nonetheless “absolutely proud of myself for doing it.”
“I thought I would never be picked because of my body shape,” he said. “I wanted to prove that you can be hairy and have a belly and it can be sexy.”
Another model, identified only as Warren, echoed those sentiments.
“So many of us have issues with our bodies; we think we’re too fat, too skinny, too pale, our dicks are too small, our bums not pert enough or we’re too hairy,” he said. “I’m not toned, I’m ginger, hairy, I don’t go to the gym and don’t have big muscles, I’m pale as snow and my bum jiggles, but I now love being naked again.”
He added, “Confidence is sexy – so own what you’ve got and be proud, lads!”