Manbeing


A campaign for a more flexible and healthy masculinity



Brief
Create a digital campaign, bringing awareness to the harmful parts of stereotypical masculinity.

Disciplines
Concept, videography, photography, graphic design, web design, coding (HTML/CSS), sound design

How does one discuss a delicate social issue like toxic masculinity, without appearing preachy or alienating the target audience?
It was quite a challenge.







The campaign
revolves around
a website.


The website serves as a platform for personal, anonymous stories of men's* experiences with stereotypical notions of masculinity — how they've been hurt and how they've hurt others because of them. One can read, add their own stories, comment or send empathy to others. Essentially this is an inclusive community that allows its members to be vulnerable.








Supporting the
website is a video


based on one of many personal
stories the website hosts.






and a series of posters.


The posters are downloadable in full-size for
printing, allowing the audience to support the
campaign and spread word of it.






Wait. Explain.


Ask Wikipedia what masculinity, or being a man is about, and it’ll give you a set of attributes that’s remained consistent ages over in Western society: strength, courage, assertiveness, violence, providing and risk‑taking.

Femininity would be defined by gentleness, empathy, sensitivity, submisiveness and nurturance.

Thanks to feminist movement, what it means to be a woman has been becoming more flexible over the last few decades. While women still face an abundance of obstacles, when it comes to their identity, they can look back to decades of conversation about the complexities of womanhood; the many forms it can take and the different ways to express it.





Men's gender roles, however, are not as dynamic. They are for the most part still trapped in an outdated, one-fits-all model of masculinity, where emotional expression is frowned upon, communication is emasculating and acknowledging weakness is a weakness in itself.

The world around them has changed, but most men have no role models who’ve adapted to it. With time, this has led some men to over-compensation in the form of violence and harmful behavior, directed both inwards and out (toxic masculinity.)










Suicide rates in men being much higher than those of reported depression lead to a natural conclusion: Some men would rather take their own lives than talk about what’s going on inside them.

In addition to the alarming statistics shown above, men comprise the majority of perpetrators in crimes such as murder, robbery, theft, sexual violence and rape. Men also drop out of high school more often, and are more likely to suffer from alcoholism, cancer or unreported heart disease (leading to many fatalities.)












Expanding
masculinity




From this stems, for the good of all, that an open conversation must be had — challenging the rigid and stereotypical concepts that are putting lives at risk, allowing the expansion of the definition of masculinity to something much more flexible. This is the campaign’s goal.







Aesthetically


As the goal was never to reject masculinity as a whole, and as the target group consists also of traditionally masculine men, usage of typically masculine aesthetic made sense — creating a familiar image and juxtaposing it with subversive content.







My bachelor thesis,


written around the project,
details the working process and
the research and thinking that
ultimately led to this solution.