Now, my opening title may be controversial but I think necessary. In a modern world where social media is running rapid and the perfect picture is the ultimate goal for everyone, as Instagrammers call it, ‘Aesthetics’. More than ever the modern day man has been put under the microscope, putting emphasis on physique.
The role of the traditional man has begun to shift, as we move into a world of gender fluidity and the breakdown of gender stereotypes. The modern man experiments with make-up, style, and fitness, as we all aim to be healthy and more conscious about the kind of lifestyle being lived. Where women have always been under the male gaze, creating what they believed to be the “perfect” woman. We’re now moving into a world where we’re creating the “perfect” man, which comes now with expectations.
With the rise of ‘influencers’ online on almost every social media platform, our feeds are now flooded with luxurious holidays, homes and men with six packs and legions of likes and comments. More and more men have begun to start body shaming themselves, feeling unworthy and even the rise of suicide and anorexia. But because it is seen as a stigma for men to ask for help, most hide it from other in fear of being seen as “weak”. It doesn’t help when ‘influencers’ or people into fitness call themselves fat, whilst they show off their amazing physiques. Any on watcher or viewer will then have an instant reaction to how they see themselves, it may cause the pressure to try and achieve what is considered sexy.
Modern Day Man : Other Factors
The other factor we need to consider is a lifestyle, now more than ever we all want more then we have. Now I’m not saying it’s wrong to want to achieve more, goodness knows I’m in the same place. What I’m talking about is the pressure to deliver, and being able to replicate what’s online. Lack of money can cause depression and the feeling of not being able to provide, or even to achieve something you have your heart set on. The modern-day men are barraged with fragrances, accessories, and grooming products. Many people know most of these come with a high price tag, the ability to smell, look and feel good has now come with a new pressure.
Even if we look towards reality TV shows, they have set unrealistic expectations for a younger audience of what a man should look like. Take a look at Ex on the beach, all the men that do the slow-motion bond walk out of the ocean, they have perfect teeth, well-groomed hair, and well-trimmed bodies. I’m not saying don’t be proud of what you’ve achieved because I’m always the first to shout from the rooftops, what I’m talking about is this constant rotation of men that look the same – it sets the wrong image for anyone watching.
For me – I feel that the modern day man has the expectations of social media, reality TV shows, and new social expectations. We have come along way for the new man to emerge, however, I feel that we have created another problem that is starting to come around and why are we repeating the same mistakes over. I say to all modern day men if you’re struggling to find who you are, what you should look like and how you should behave. I will leave this to you, always act and emulate what you feel is true to you, if others appreciate it then pay them no mind. If your friends mock you or snub you, well they were never your friend in the first place.
Please continue to break down societal expectation, push forward in being who you want to be and most of all enjoy life – because as RuPaul would say “we’re all born naked, and the rest is drag”.
Till next time….