Social media can’t get enough of Detroit Red Wings’ star Dylan Larkin and his “hockey butt.”
Clothing retailer State and Liberty Clothing Co. has caused a stir online for a now viral video, advertising dress pants designed to accommodate male athletes and their disproportionate frame.
In the PSA-style video, the “victim” Larkin explains that as a professional athlete, he often has trouble shopping for comfortable pants. In between gratuitous shots of his “hockey butt” Larkin explains just how difficult it can be for athletes to find clothing that fits.
“We have relatively small waists, and big quads, big thighs, and big butt,” he said laughing. “I can’t really find an off-the-rack pant to fit me. Even when I get a pair of pants custom made, I can’t move around and stretch in them. Every time I bend down I feel like I’m going to bust through the seams.”
The tongue-in-cheek video features Larkin squatting, demonstrating the stretch in their pants, designed specifically with “more room in the seat and quads” while still maintaining a fashionable, tapered leg. The $150 CAD pants are available in a variety of colours and fabrics that are moisture-wicking and wrinkle free.
The ad has received thousands of views and spawned countless tweets of those in awe of Larkin and his assets.
Hi, yes. I’d like one (1) hockey butt boy: pic.twitter.com/qY9W0pSYY6— ☠︎𝓢𝓟𝓞𝓞𝓚𝓨 𝓢𝓐𝓖𝓔☠︎ (horror edition) (@sageandrage) October 2, 2019
this is the kind of targeting marketing i want to see from the NHL pic.twitter.com/If18tSW9QF— cayce 🌵💖 (@cayceonthego) October 2, 2019
“What are some qualities you look for in a man?”— alexorcist abad satan (@alex_abads) October 2, 2019
I have been screaming about this since yesterday!!!https://t.co/9Duf4r8MAS— That Spooky Helen 🎃 (@thatsillyhelen) October 2, 2019
Despite the positive attention for the brand, the resulting objectification of Larkin on social media has raised concerns about illustrating a potential double standard for the way men and women are portrayed in the media.
“As a content creator or brand, you need to grab the viewer’s attention in the very first three seconds,” Kelly Samuel, a social media director who was not involved with the ad explained to CTV News. “They did so through humour and a bit of sexual tension... with power shifting to more women in light of our current social climate, some of these kind of demeaning old tropes are being recycled for men, which ethically is a separate conversation, but isn’t really a mainstream element that we’ve seen so often in the media.”
Shawn Stephenson, the Canadian director of sales for State and Liberty says the public’s reaction to the video was “unexpected.”
“It’s certainly resonated with a lot more than the hockey community,” Stephenson told CTV. “Dylan has been a great sport about it...and that kind of recognition for him and our brand has been amazing.”