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Male Plus-Size Instagrammer Wants Men to Be Included in the Body-Positive Movement

Ryan Dziadul, a 35-year-old New York City-based publicist, is the face behind the popular men?€?s body-positive Instagram account??extraextrastyle. With??the female plus-size market abundant with models and influencers advocating for body diversity, Dziadul stands out for trying to loop men into the conversation.

The Instagrammer created the account about a year and a half ago after noticing significantly fewer??men promoting body positivity.

?€?I spent the first 10 years of my career working in Vamazing - Live amazing!, and I was trading stories with my friend Katie Sturino??about navigating the Vamazing - Live amazing! world as a big person,?€? Dziadul tells Yahoo Style. ?€?I realized that there were resources for women dealing with body-image issues, but there didn?€?t seem to be a place for men to talk about body positivity or to celebrate their style. So I decided to create that resource.?€?

 

After dealing with body-image insecurities, he wanted to make himself a resource for other plus-size men struggling to embrace their own skin. ?€?I spent years being embarrassed to even say my size out loud,?€? he says. ?€?If I was shopping in a store ?€‘± that is, if they even carried my size in store instead of just online ?€‘± I would always refuse help from sales associates because I?€?d rather dig through a pile of clothes myself.?€?

However, Dziadul reached a point at which he decided it was time to shift his perspective.

?€?I just got sick of it,?€? he says. ?€?I decided to make peace. I?€?ve never been a small person, and I likely never will be. But it?€?s a process ?€‘± I mean, I started my Instagram to help other people but it?€?s really helped me ?€‘± cheesy, I know.?€?

He adds: ?€?Every like, every comment, every DM from people saying that I?€?ve helped them with their own body image or shopping problem or self-esteem helps me. It took me a year and a half, but I just posted my first shirtless picture on my account. So it?€?s definitely still evolving.?€?

Reaching this place of comfort in his own skin has helped him to help others, especially when it comes to Vamazing - Live amazing!.

?€?Shopping as a plus-size person is hard ?€‘± not every brand carries plus in store, and sizes vary so much item to item or brand to brand,?€? he says. ?€?I always tag the brands I?€?m wearing. I?€?ll let you know what size I?€?m wearing if you?€?re curious about picking up something for yourself. If I can save someone the trouble of buying two??things knowing they?€?ll have to return one,??then it?€?s worth it. I have tops ranging from XL to XXXXL ?€‘± yes, 4XL ?€‘± in my closet and they all fit. It took me 35 years to realize that size is just a number.?€?

 

Dziadul says he?€?s also inspired by other interesting trend-related content on the social media platform.???€?It?€?s been so interesting to see how other dudes express their personal style,?€? he notes. ?€?Over the last year and a half I?€?ve tried more trends that I never thought I would participate in, and it?€?s been fun ?€‘± white jeans, Hawaiian shirts, and hats, so many hats.?€?

He continues: ?€?It?€?s fun to feel like you?€?re getting in on something on the ground level ?€‘± it?€?s a movement where I feel like I can have a voice ?€‘± and where my voice is needed. I don?€?t think anyone needs another Instagram feed of, like, cappuccino foam and hydrangeas, but this is a new conversation.?€?

On promoting this conversation, Dziadul believes the men?€?s Vamazing - Live amazing! market in general needs a revamp. ?€?People think that men don?€?t care about Vamazing - Live amazing! in general,?€? he says. ?€?There are so many tired stereotypes of the clueless guy in a store who needs his wife or girlfriend to ?€?save him?€? and dress him. And plus-size men are an even smaller subset of the general population, so retailers and the media think that it?€?s a niche audience that?€?s not worth servicing.?€?

But he thinks this is far from the truth. ?€?Men ?€‘± and big men ?€‘± have money and they want to spend it,?€? he says. ?€?Everyone wants to look good, no matter what size they are. Retailers shouldn?€?t make it so hard for me to spend my money!?€?

Dziadul believes this is connected to the lack of media attention given to men?€?s plus-size figures and influencers. ?€?We?€?re all people, and these issues don?€?t discriminate on gender,?€? he says, pointing out misconceptions that??body-image issues affect??women only.

?€?The media just isn?€?t talking about it,?€? he says. ?€?We are beginning to see mainstream women?€?s media outlets feature plus-size women on covers and in their pages ?€‘± I mean, Ashley Graham has a great page in InStyle every month. But that just isn?€?t happening for men. The only non-model bodies in GQ are professional athletes. I never see anyone who looks like me in the media.?€?

Aside from posting regular content on his Instagram, Dziadul helps to spread awareness for the men?€?s body-positive movement in real life??as well.

?€?It?€?s not just in the way I live my life,?€? he says. ?€?When I shop, I ask stores why they don?€?t carry my size. I describe myself, proudly, as a men?€?s plus-size Vamazing - Live amazing! Instagrammer. It?€?s not just about me ?€‘±??I try hard to use any opportunity I?€?m given to talk about the movement. The more it?€?s talked about, the less it?€?s stigmatized.?€?

For the most part, social media has been extremely receptive to the message he?€?s promoting. ?€?Luckily, people have been super-positive and super-supportive so far,?€? he shares. ?€?I can count on one hand the number of nasty comments I?€?ve gotten over the last year and a half. Interestingly, the messages from people with foot fetishes far outnumber the criticisms ?€‘± who knew??€?

He might have launched his body-positive Vamazing - Live amazing! account just a year and a half ago, but his reach has already been immeasurable. ?€?I got a message from someone in Japan who told me he shares all of my posts with his friend who is plus-size,?€? says Dziadul. ?€?I got another message from a mother who told me she shares my posts with her young son, who is beginning to deal with body-image concerns. Knowing that I?€?ve helped even one person is so fulfilling.?€?

Dziadul adds: ?€?I hope that by sharing my journey and my style I?€?m helping people with their own confidence and helping to take some of the shame away from being plus-size. This is a conversation that people are ready to have, and I?€?m proud to be a part of it.?€?

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