Macho. Tough. Strong. Brave. We all know the traditional masculine stereotypes.
Strong and silent. Never showing our feelings. Leaving the toilet seat up. But things are slowly changing – look around and you can see that masculinity today can take on many shapes and sizes. What ‘makes a man’ today means lots of different things to different people. And that’s a really good thing. But the problem is that some of those old stereotypes refuse to shift. Why is this such a problem? Because those feelings can lead us to think we have no worth if we don’t match them, and puts us under so much pressure it can make us think there’s no way out. We know that, because 94 men take their own life in the UK each week – that’s 75% of the total. That urgently needs to change.
Together with our mates at UM, we spoke to thousands of men to get a better understanding. The results help paint a picture of what it is to be a man in the UK today and show how toxic stereotyping in the media is taking an especially heavy toll on our collective mental health. And it shows us how important it is that we normalise talking about our struggles.