I had to break this into to two parts. When I started writing this one seemed OK, but it seemed to grow with a life of its own. The other day, I talked about how the males in our culture no longer have a rite of passage from childhood into adulthood. Now we get to tackle the perception of men in the media.
When did being male become a bad word? When did masculinity start meaning something dark to pushed aside and hidden? I mean seriously. When you look at most men in the media, what we are shown is not the masculine image of man that I grew up with. What happened to showing that men are men? When did that become so wrong?
Now, most certainly I am not talking about the controlling man who thinks that woman should be barefoot and pregnant…and I think it is a good idea for a man to understand his more sensitive side as well, but that still does not change the fact that a man should be able to identify himself as a man.
So, now, coming back to how I see this affecting my boys and maybe even the generation before them…it does not seem good. Either men are now portrayed as metro sexual or they are dumb redneck men who are ultra masculine and over the top. Neither one of these options seems very good to me.
One specific example comes to mind; the Old Spice commercials. A few years ago, the Old Spice commercials always depicted masculine men. Now those commercials make fun of image of man. While I do enjoy the joke and like the commercials themselves, what does that say to our boys about being men? I think it tells them that being masculine is a joke.
When I was a girl, there was this whole to do about Barbie and how she gave girls bad body image because her measurements were impossible to achieve in reality. Maybe for some girls Barbie was a bad influence, but I can say that my body image issues were more from movies and how the air brushed girls were always prettier and had a better complexion than I did. If one doll can screw up generations of girls, what do the powers that be out there think the elevation of the metro sexual male and the suppression of the masculine is doing to our boys?