What Real Men Are

by Kat Mahoney ’20

Real men don’t cry; real men don’t wear pink; real men have muscles. Boys are taught that they’re destined to fit into certain roles and are forbidden to venture into others.

They’re pushed to achieve unattainable bodies. Social media makes the stereotypical man that boys have to become more prominent. Bodybuilders appear on every social media page. Men have to be the strong princes risking their lives to save the princess. Boys, instead of being able to show emotion and let their guard down, are told to stifle feelings. They are called womanly for wearing something as simple as pink. These stereotypes force boys to turn to unhealthy workouts and drug habits. It also sparks mental illnesses and eating disorders, as well as shapes their future self.

Rather than teaching boys to go to immeasurable lengths to be the stereotypical man, they should be taught to follow their own beliefs. They should be informed that tears don’t symbolize weakness, pink isn’t just for girls, and huge muscle are not an obligation. Men shouldn’t be shamed for how they live their lives. They should be allowed to wear anything, spend time doing any hobby they want, or no hobby at all, and they should understand that emotions are okay.

Real men realize being different is okay; now all society has to do is catch up.