Decoding the future of masculinity

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 According to the report, outdated and traditional limitations of masculinity are being replaced by a new spectrum of masculine identities that seek to recast masculinity in a positive light, by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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Extend the concept of strength. Celebrate that strength is increasingly diverse, spanning much more than just physical strength.
  4. Fight toxic masculinity. Help men take a stand against toxic masculinity and gender disparity.
  5. 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.