A social media movement redefining masculinity.
Social media and cultural norms paint a toxic image of masculinity. Men do not share their emotions or reveal their “softer” side. We are expected to act macho, arrogant and show off our muscles in an attempt to appear alpha male. Sadly, these expectations can inflict severe damage for men of all ages.
I struggled with masculinity for most of my life. After my parents died, I built a wall to prevent appearing weak and unmasculine. Coming to terms with my homosexuality forced me to wear a mask around others. I stopped being authentic with myself and those around me. The inner pain this caused fueled my anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. I despised myself for not being masculine enough. I developed an eating disorder trying to look like the popular, muscular, and arrogant guys on my social media feed. Men don’t share their feelings. Men don’t suffer from mental illness. Men don’t have eating disorders. As you can see, I inflicted a lot of damage on myself trying to appear masculine.
In recovery, I’ve learned that the strongest man is the one who is open, honest, and authentic. I saw the glaring need for guys like me to share our stories and encourage others to do the same. We must break down the stigmas and stereotypes that exist around masculinity. As men of 2021, we bear a responsibility to advance the conversation and redefine masculinity for what it truly is. By doing so, we can help men reclaim their lives and, more importantly, prevent them from losing their lives in an attempt to live up to society’s unrealistic expectations. I know because it almost happened to me.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
Join me anytime between June 1st - 5th in celebration of Men’s Health Awareness Month by posting a picture of yourself redefining masculinity and showing that what being a real man means to you - a reminder that it’s okay not to be okay and still be masculine. Use the hashtag #StrongMenTalk in your post and feel free to send me a copy or tag Orthorexia Bites. I'd love to see what you post!
We're taking on all social media platforms, so let's flood the feeds. No matter your gender, we all have the ability to change the narrative and defeat toxic masculinity.
Have further questions? Or an interest in helping promote the event? I'd love to hear from you! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.