The immemorial struggle for gender parity has finally been reached with the invention of the "Funkybod muscle enhancing top," a garment that masquerades as a tank top but is, in actuality, perhaps the world's first bra for men.
The garment was initially meant to accentuate the pectorals, shoulders, biceps, and triceps of men who wish to look more muscular, like a padded bra for bein' buff; however, the mad geniuses responsible for creating the Funkybod muscle enhancing top soon learned that it possesses an unforeseen benefit. From a section of product website poetically titled "Manboob info," we learn:
Initially, it was designed to enhance the upper body muscle groups of skinny to medium build men. After initial trials we found that some of the smaller men had manboob issues which were covered well with the Funkybod muscle top. This led us to experiment with larger men and look into the manboob issue further.
Coincidental improvement upon typical manboob issues led us to look into the manboob issue further. Indeed.
Here's a video of two BBC news anchors repeatedly saying the word "moob" and giggling as they discuss the Funkybod muscle enhancing top:
It's funny because it all seems so silly, and the gravely pseudo-scientific tone of the Funkybod website is hilarious. However, the way in which we discuss the Funkybod does have more serious implications. It shows just how uncomfortable we are with the idea that men internalize — and act upon — self-consciousness about their bodies in the same way that women do. No one giggles over the idea that women wear Spanx or push-up bras — in fact, it's sort of expected. There's nothing essentially different about concept of a man padding his biceps or disguising his "man boobs." The pressure men feel to match their appearance to some nearly-unachievable standard is obviously less potent and less oppressive than the pressure women feel, but it's far from nonexistent.
Ubiquitous images of perfect, unrealistic bodies and body-policing affect everyone. Even (maybe especially) the good denizens of Funkybod.com.
"The Funkybod Muscle Top is Basically a Push-Up Bra For Men" [HuffPo]
Image via Funkybod.com.