Defining Masculinity In 2017!
In today’s society, we’ve somehow found a way to put a label on every aspect of life. The phenomenon of labels has even managed to categorize the traits of men/women in the form of masculinity and femininity. The definition of a man or woman should not be judged solely on the general characteristics decided by society. Masculinity and Femininity are very polarizing in the black community because of our culture’s issues with sexuality. Should masculinity be used solely for men and vice versa for women and femininity? Let’s take a look at some habits that can be found in men that are often labeled feminine by society.
I still cannot wrap my hands around the concept of wanting someone to not take care of their body to pull off a rugged look because it’s “manly.” One form of grooming, in particular, is body hair. Being hairy does not make you a man. If you choose to be hairy, that is your choice. If you choose not to be hairy, this does not make you any less of a man and shaving/waxing should not be labeled as feminine. Especially by the opposite sex. Some men genetically are not able to be hairy but they are males. Another form of grooming that’s controversial is manicures/pedicures for men. Simply removing dead skin, and nail clippings aren’t going to do any harm to your manhood. Unless you want to not take care of your feet and end up with “athlete’s foot.” Also, here’s a quick insider for men. You don’t have to put nail polish on to get a manicure/pedicure if that’s what you are worried about. Please don’t believe the hype.
There was a time while I was growing up when you had a conversation with your parents about body language. It was a conversation about what “boys” do and what “girls” do. For instance, putting your hands on your hip. One simple stance was considered something girls were supposed to do and not guys. As I grew older, I started to see that this was merely another failed attempt at labeling every part of our lives as masculine or feminine. You will see men put their hands on their hips when they are tired or simply resting in sports games. You will also see a man put his hands on his hips when he is stressed at work. You cannot label someone’s bodily reaction. Please humble yourselves, people. Another “debateable” topic is crossing the legs while sitting. When I was younger, I learned that guys cross their legs different from women. Crossing your legs directly on top of each other was labeled as sitting like a girl. I grew older, and once again realized that people can sit however they want. It does not make you feminine or masculine.
Men’s fashion is probably the oldest category to cross into the conversation of being labeled as feminine and masculine. I had a conversation with a friend in regards to masculinity in Hip Hop. He told me that he could never identify with any rappers as a child because of their “macho” image which wasn’t him. He couldn’t relate to the image of baggy clothes and tattoos. However, this was the representation of black men back then. He said he was unable to identify with a rapper until Kanye West appeared on the scene. A guy without a tough image who wore bright colors and fitted clothes. A man dressing like this was referred to as a “pretty boy” which is less masculine. Kanye West is no stranger to breaking masculine barriers in fashion for the urban culture. He was the first to wear kilts as a rapper in today’s generation. You now have an artist like Young Thug who’s carrying the torch for ripping the idea of masculine clothes to shreds.
With all the topics listed above, I feel it’s safe to say that we should not use trivial things to determine what’s manly and what’s not. Every man is not the same so please do not use generalized “characteristics” to determine masculinity. Lastly, the opposite sex should have no say in determining what a man is or isn’t. Appreciate the person for who he or she is. Lately’s, drop your opinions in the comment section!
Stay True. Stay Real. Stay Black. – Trenton | Instagram/Twitter: @TrentonxPratt
Trenton Pratt22 Posts
Trenton Pratt is an experienced media personality hailing from St. Louis, MO. His journey as a media personality started back in 2012 with the development of a weekly YouTube entertainment series titled "The Vision." The YouTube series garnered over 70k views in only one year. Trenton's natural connection with the viewers led to him becoming a staple host at several live events around his hometown while he took a step away from the YouTube scene. Finally, Trenton's gravitating personality and infectious smile will be stepping back in front of the camera and behind the keyboard. He's still the same person... Just A Better Brand!