Confidence Man: What Steven G.’s meteoric rise means for brawny men everywhere

Photo by Monté Law

Barber: Ailele Ighile; Wardrobe Stylist: Vanne McMillan; Wardrobe Assistant: Teresa Brooks. // Photo by Monté Law

For over a decade now, Kansas Citian Steven Green, who goes by Steven G. professionally, has found himself behind the camera. Whether he’s staging, shooting, or styling a model, Green is generally the one peering through the viewfinder. But in February of 2020—with the same type of charismatic confidence he displays in his photography and professional styling skills—Green springboarded into the deep end of the modeling agency. Luckily, he’s a good swimmer.

Green’s first photoshoot as a signed model was a photo campaign for Rihanna’s lingerie line, Savage X Fenty. Unsurprisingly, he went viral, but not just because of his wicked good looks. 

Unlike the vast majority of male underwear models, Green is “brawn,” a new industry term for men-of-size. In the Savage X Fenty shoot, he is shirtless, unedited, and glowing. He took up space with enough confidence to make you think he was a seasoned model. But more than that, he made brawn men across the world feel seen and showed the importance of body positivity for men, too. 

“I think that society has created a notion that women find [a] particular body type attractive, and that they don’t find any other body type outside of that attractive,” Green explains. “What the Savage X Fenty opportunity brought about was that people do [find plus-size body types attractive]. We are all different. The world represents so many different people. You can have a gut and man boobs and still be attractive,” says Green.

Photo by Monté Law

Barber: Ailele Ighile; Wardrobe Stylist: Vanne McMillan; Wardrobe Assistant: Teresa Brooks. // Photo by Monté Law

Since the Savage X Fenty shoot, Green has been featured in several different campaigns for brands such as Nike, ASOS, Gymshark, and Citi Trends. Now that the world is slowly opening back up post-pandemic, he’s beginning to travel more for modeling gigs. 

Although Green’s success as a model may have seemed like it happened overnight, he says that leading up to his big break, he mastered the art of self-portraits and used himself as a model on his social media account. This allowed him to showcase his skills as a stylist, but he wasn’t thinking of modeling professionally.

“I utilized myself and my personal Instagram platform to showcase different looks and creative things like street style,” says Green. “Then from there, randomly, producers and casting directors started reaching out to me for modeling gigs. During that time, I wasn’t a model and was more interested in promoting my style services.”

As more and more producers and agents direct messaged Green on Instagram, he began to seriously consider a professional modeling career. As a photographer, he already spent a lot of time in the fashion world and he liked the idea of using his image to promote diversity and inclusion for men. 

“Being a photographer, working with models, I knew the ins and outs of modeling already from a perspective of getting those gigs,” says Green. “So I just decided randomly at 2 a.m., ‘I’m gonna just apply to some agency.’” 

One of the mission statements of a modeling agency Green applied to, Bridge Models, really complimented his own goals.

“As our name suggests, the ethos of the agency is to ‘bridge the gap’ between standard and plus size in the fashion industry,” says the agency’s About page on their website. “The plus size sector has seen some exciting changes in the last twenty years and there is still vast capacity for growth. At Bridge we are proud to be part of the continued change to promote diversity and healthy, positive role models.” 

Just two weeks after his 2 a.m. revelation, Green was signed to Bridge Models with both their U.S. and London offices, which is how he got his Savage X Fenty shoot.

Since then, Green successfully completed another campaign for Savage X Fenty, is working on a campaign for Fabletics, and has been nominated for Emerging Male Model for The Full Figured Fashion Awards (www.theffias.com) and Best Male Model for Kansas City’s People’s Choice Awards. 

Photo by Monté Law

Barber: Ailele Ighile; Wardrobe Stylist: Vanne McMillan; Wardrobe Assistant: Teresa Brooks. // Photo by Monté Law

Green continues to push for diversity and inclusion in modeling, especially when it comes to plus-size representation for men. While he may seem to radiate confidence now, Green has had his fair share of insecurities he has had to work through. 

“I think there’s many instances where, even in the sense of dating, I may not have pursued someone because I didn’t necessarily have the confidence in my size,” says Green. “Like going to the pool for instance, I would leave my shirt on versus taking it off because I wasn’t confident in my body.” 

Overcoming these self-esteem hurdles is a big reason Green became a model himself. He has become the representation he did not see as a young person. 

“A lot of times, people who are of size don’t pursue a lot of their passions, and they don’t pursue a lot of the things that are really within their purpose because they don’t have the confidence and they are struggling with insecurities,” Green says. “But that representation is a driving force to reaffirm who they are: If they can do it, then I can do it too.”

Whether it’s through his skills as a stylist, photographer, or model, Steven G. strives to elevate people of all sizes to have the confidence to see their full potential. 

“My vision is to see a culture of people embracing the divine connection of who they are and why they exist,” says Green. “I’m on a mission to tell the authentic story of others, utilizing my platforms, passions, and purpose.” 


You can follow Green’s modeling journey on his Instagram, and view his photography on his webpage at stevengphotos.com.

Categories: Culture