Disrupting Masculinity in Hollywood

The women’s movement we are living in has given women the courage to speak out about sexual assault, multiple seats at the table in government, intersectionality in the stories seen on TV and movies and a megaphone that amplifies our voices louder than before. As women have begun to shed gender stereotypes, the definition of masculinity has changed. Leading this change in Hollywood are Millennial and Gen Z men. This disruption on masculinity is arriving at a time when America needs it most. When celebrities speak up and work towards change, the public notices, and thanks to these men the idea of what is “masculine” (the validity of the term itself even) is being cracked open.

 

Harry Styles

I had to include Styles as he frequently dons a floral or embellished suit for a show and has been fearless in wearing patterns, straying from the “norm” in style for celebrity men. You know what I’m talking about—the typical black or gray suit that we see every awards season. His outfits have ranged from including jewelry (his 2018 Gucci campaign) to unbuttoned shirts and moto boots. Styles isn’t afraid to go more feminine in fashion. His self-titled, solo debut album, Harry Styles, is chock-full of lyrics that soak in heartache and raw emotion. In all spheres, Styles does not hesitate to be honest and he’s changing what is expected (and accepted) of men. In an iconic interview arranged by i-D magazine, Styles and Timothee Chalamet addressed how they view masculinity in today’s world. In discussing his own growth in figuring out what “masculine” means to him, Styles said “I’ve become a lot more content with who I am. I think there’s so much masculinity in being vulnerable and allowing yourself to be feminine, and I’m very comfortable with that” (i-D).

 

 

Timothee Chalamet

In his breakout year, Timothee Chalamet has not faltered in staying himself. And we love him for this. Goofy, kinda awkward in interviews, floral and printed suit wearing Chalamet has gathered a devoted fan base and Oscar attention from his roles in Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird, and Beautiful Boy. At twenty-two with a very promising acting career, Chalamet is using his platform to discuss vulnerability. In the Styles and Chalamet  i-D magazine interview, Chalamet said “being vulnerable is not a weakness, not a social barrier. It doesn’t mean you’re crazy or hyper emotional, you’re just human, which I think is something your music gets at and hopefully my movies do too. Humans are complex; we need to feel a lot of things. We are not homogeneous” (i-D).

 

 

Michael B. Jordan

Michael B. Jordan has graced our screens in Parenthood, Creed and Black Panther. Speaking out against police brutality, it’s no surprise he has been a key part in reshaping masculinity. In an interview with Ebony magazine earlier this year, Jordan spoke on the stigma for men showing affection with each other. “I think it’s just about being comfortable in your own skin and being comfortable to love one another...I love my brothers. I’ll tell my brother I love him, give him a hug, kiss him on the cheek. That’s my guy and you don’t have to be ashamed of that” (Ebony). Having a known and admired African American man be not afraid to speak up about men showing emotion, helps give young men the ability and confidence to display emotion in their relationships.

 

Justin Baldoni

While playing Rafael in Jane the Virgin, Justin Baldoni has given us many dreamy, heartbreaking and intense scenes. In real life, Baldoni is a staunch advocate for changing the way men define masculinity. In his 2017 TED Talk he became honest with his past and current struggles with revealing insecurity in fear of being seen as weak and not man enough. Recognizing the stereotypes seen in the media, Baldoni said “Most of the men I play ooze machismo, charisma, and power, and when I look in the mirror that’s just not how I see myself. But it was how Hollywood saw me” (TED). Not afraid to challenge men around him, Baldoni is using social media as a forum to correct society’s lens on masculinity.

 

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