Parents treat boys and girls differently from the beginning.
Girls are allowed to cry, be weak, helpless and capricious…
BUT – boys are not!
One family member will always remind them: “You are boy, you have to be strong!”
At a very young age, boys learn to numb their feelings; not showing them to anyone and pretending to be powerful.
Starting from puberty, boys begin to appreciate “men must-have” attributes such as:
– muscle development
– actually, everything that’s associated with power!
But what if a boy has less-developed muscles or doesn’t want to be involved in any illegal activity?
In most cases, he doesn’t feel like he fits in and might be bullied by more “mature” friends.
And what impact does all of this have?
This leads to anger, fear, suppressed resentment, and other psychological reservations.
What happens next?
As an adult, men encounter other challenges, such as their parents’ expectations:
– “You have to become someone!”
– “You have to be financially independent!”
– “You have to find a ‘real’ job!”
– “You have to be a breadwinner”, etc…
Such a heavy bag of societal preconceptions of what a “real man” must be or do, isn’t it?
I believe that regardless of gender, we all have a right to experience and express a whole variety of feelings and to be vulnerable.
Let’s stop hiding our insecurities behind masks. Let’s face them and resolve them.
We are free from labels, stereotypes and the expectations of others unless WE want to take them on!
You are what you believe you are.
P.S. Do what you love, even if this goes against the common picture of a “real man”.