We had the opportunity to learn about the Arrested Movement series and are humbled to share their mission celebrating diverse, male bodies and breaking the stereotypes of how men should appear. Male body positivity is an unexplored social issue that needs more attention and consideration. Because the majority of research studies and media coverage on the topic of body positivity focus on women, there is little support and awareness for the male perspective. Body positivity is not gender-specific, all genders and communities are subjected to body expectations and stereotypes. From an early age, we consume messages that tell us what is acceptable and beautiful. The Arrested Movement is here to change that and demystify this underserved community.
Arrested Movement is a portrait series and awareness initiative promoting body positivity and reshaping how the world views male bodies. It features male beauty of all races, from thin to large, Little People to super tall, men with physical disabilities, transgender men, as well as two-spirited men. Men from all walks of life are welcome.
Photographer Anthony Patrick Manieri is the founder who started with a single photo session of 10-12 men to be showcased in a gallery exhibit. He specializes in stylized portraiture and food photography. His work has been featured in print and online platforms such as: Martha Stewart Weddings and Maclean’s Magazine. It quickly gained momentum and morphed into a movement through social media. It has grown to share 69 pieces of coverage with an online readership of 279 million.
During the time leading up to the first photoshoot, Manieri was experiencing a period of grief and depression from the death of his father. Dealing with everything, he also began experiencing weight gain. While struggling with these insecurities and low self-esteem, he was able to find the beauty in his subject in that London Studio. Through this moment, he saw the beauty in everyone, as everyone is. This unintentional revelation sparked a powerful movement focused on the universal beauty of all men.
Manieri shared the first shot with the model who shared it with his network, and it all came together. Several men from North America expressed their gratitude to Manieri for beginning the conversation. Some were even inspired to share their own stories or volunteer as a portrait subject. After the overwhelming support, Manieri learned this is an underserved issue, there is a relevant need for representation to challenge the industries and men should be included in the dialogue about these issues.
This series is included in a major group show at the famous Victoria & Albert Museum, which is the world’s leading museum of art and design in London, England. Arrested Movement was included in “Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear,” which is now open until November 2022. This is the first major V&A exhibition to celebrate menswear, masculinity, and the diversity of masculine attire and appearance from the Renaissance period to present day. It has three thematic sections–Undressed, Overdressed and Redressed.
This series is not only challenging male representation but in Manieri’s personal life, “this journey of producing the Arrested Movement series has transformed the way I look and treat myself. The act of self-acceptance and self-love is something that I work on daily. What I’ve come to know is that our own insecurities are not singular in this world.”
Representation is important for people to feel included. It can be easy to feel alone when we don’t see versions of ourselves in the mainstream media. These feelings influence our mental health, and the constant lack of diverse male body representation in the mainstream media and social media are creating a true epidemic. Arrested Movement believes in illustrating that “beauty is not, in fact, in the eye of the beholder nor is it found exclusively on the covers of magazines, but instead that beauty is simply a manifestation of existence.”
Masaru Emoto was a Japanese author and researcher. He claimed human emotions and consciousness have an effect on the molecular structure of water. He believes water physically changes due to the different emotions people exhibit. Because the majority of the human body is comprised of water, when people engage in verbal and or negative cognitive thoughts about their own body or other peoples’ bodies, this could have a physical effect on the body at a molecular level.
Based on an article by WebMD, surveys on male body image found that 20%-40% of men were unhappy with some aspect of their looks, including physical appearance, weight, and muscle size and tone. Self-esteem and body image are connected to one another. Depending on how you feel about your body will most likely influence other aspects of your life. It can be very hard to appreciate your whole self if you fail to do so for your body.
Accepting your body is important for your mental health and a step to appreciating your entire self. We appreciate the chance to share what the Arrested Movement is doing to change the social landscape in how the world views male bodies. This will create a ripple effect in the social consciousness. Learn more about Arrested Movement on Instagram and Twitter.