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Max on 21st Century Masculinity

Updated: Jun 21, 2021

Photography Isla Matheison

What is Masculinity to you?

Everybody has their own perception of masculinity. Masculinity to me ranges. There are different types of masculinity like toxic masculinity and being comfortable in your masculinity.

Are you masculine?

Personally I am not the stereotypical guy and no I am not that masculine but I do have masculine qualities.

What is your first memory of being pressured into a male stereotype? My first memory of being pressured into following the norms for my gender comes from when I was very young. When I was young people would constantly tell young boys me included to be a man or stop crying because boys don’t cry.

Was there a person in your life that you idolised when growing up?

I never really had anyone I truly idolised. Of course I had those famous people I liked and listened to music but there was never anyone I truly idolised as my main role model.

How has the idea of a ‘man’ changed from when you were a child?

When I was a child the word man usually meant stronger, more athletic, head of the house, and better. I was told that certain colours were for certain genders and the like. Growing older though the lines between these blurred. I learned how the word man describes a gender not a better opposite. Just because someone is male doesn’t mean that they are better or more able-bodied.

How do the people around you influence how you feel?

I surround myself with people I believe are truly kind. They care for me and are accepting. The people I hang out with are people who I wish to be more like. They influence me in many ways including my appearance and clothing choices alongside my personality and how I act. When I am around these people they allow me to be my true self and I am happy.

What can the men who are free from their gender stereotype do for our society?

If men weren’t pressured into being the perfect ‘boy’ I feel that men would be able to express things a lot better. A lot of men are told from a young age how to act as a male person. This leads them to not be able to show their emotions and they don’t cry as often as they should. If a man is comfortable in himself, they should not be forced to live up to an expectation to others as a gender and men should not be viewed as different or weird if they do not do boy things like being athletic

What is being a young man in London today?

Being a young male In today’s society is a thing that changes. People all over the world are taught different things about how they should live their lives. Some people are taught to be accepting. Some people are taught to be no as accepting. As a young male myself it is very easy to see what others believe. Being a non athletic and more feminine male than most people view me as somewhat weird and out of the ordinary but some people look past that and see me as a person rather than the gender Stereotype I am.

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