It seems that mainstream fashion has finally discovered the undeniable sex appeal of bearded, big-boned guys—that’s bears to us gays—thanks to “America’s top plus-size male model” Zach Miko. The 6-foot-6, 275lb 26-year-old burst onto the scene this past fall when he started modeling for Target and was since signed by IMG Models’ new plus-size men’s division, Brawn.
In the age of the lumbersexual and the Dad Bod, even The Grey Lady has taken note of his beefy appeal. In a lengthy profile in today’s New York Times Style section, Miko shares his experiences growing up husky. “I was always the big kid who felt like the outsider,” he tells the paper.
While gay men of a certain size have always found acceptance in the bear community, and even seen images of bodies like theirs celebrated in magazines like Pinups, that hasn’t been the case for straight guys until recently. “For me, the coolest thing about this is the idea that kids like me can look at a website or a magazine and see somebody their size instead of these Adonises … I think that’s going to do amazing things for their self-esteem,” Miko says.
Meanwhile, he is not having American Eagle’s April Fools joke aimed at husky guys: “I don’t think they meant to be malicious,” he has said. “But they were saying to all these guys, ‘Celebrate the way you look.’ And then it was, ‘Never mind, you still look funny.’”
F the haters. Zack Miko looks damn fine to us! And those nice guys good looks are for real; as a kid Miko was an alter boy and an Eagle Scout! “I never used my size in an aggressive way,” he tells the Times. “I tried to be funny and charming.”
These days, Miko is trying to charm his way on into acting. A high school drama geek and a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, according to his IMG bio he’s had guest roles on CBS’ Limitless and NBC’s Shades of Blue. With a bunch of auditions under his 40-inch belt this pilot season, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for those baby blue eyes and that brawny physique on TV next season.
And, just because…
A photo posted by Zach Miko (@zachmiko) on