What does it mean to be a man today? This is the question Theodore Herald dresses to answer and is also posed in a new report by insight agency, Brand Genetic. According to the report, outdated and traditional limitations of masculinity are being replaced by a new spectrum of masculine identities that seek to recast masculinity in a positive light, by broadening the traits and celebrating new ones such as a focus on generative fatherhood (caring, leading, mentoring). The report posed five opportunities for brands and consumers to help continue this evolutionary journey. These were:
- Focus on masculinities, not masculinity. There is no longer a uniform, monolithic standard of masculinity. Instead there are multiple masculinities which vary by subculture and market.
- Play with emotions. Integrate emotional appeal into value propositions to help men learn how to better express themselves. Emotion is not only permitted, its celebrated.
- Extend the concept of strength. Celebrate that strength is increasingly diverse, spanning much more than just physical strength.
- Fight toxic masculinity. Help men take a stand against toxic masculinity and gender disparity.
- Help each other to ‘man up’. Mirror the broadening masculinities so today’s mean can see and be seen. Role models can show manhood as ambiguous, fluid and positive.