building modern men
For the first time, I noticed my father's vulnerability: we would walk down the street and he'd budge up really close to me like a child afraid of his surroundings. We'd go to the pub and I'd order for him because he wasn't quite sure how to navigate his way around a hipster East London brewery. It felt great. The balance of power had shifted slightly and I wasn't so afraid of him anymore.
I grew up as a younger brother among four boys who liked to fight. Like many before me, I received clear messages from society
But what about the men? I mean, sure, there are established dad bloggers and networks but let's face it is not enough to reflect the fact that the times they are a - changing. Women are still more likely than men to be the main stay at home parent but with each year that goes by the smattering of dads at the school gates is increasing, and rightly so.
'You'd be a great Dad!' I get told this often. Yes, I can mess around and play the fool. I'm down with video games and I know what pop star is popping another. I'm guessing that there's a little bit more to actually being a great Dad.
Wear the colours you feel beautiful in, sing the songs that let you shed your worries, behave the way you would if judgement didn't exist. Because when you do, you'll be taking the first steps towards a world where judgement doesn't exist.
Brené tells this story to highlight the expectation that us men can never fall off our white horses, for fear of appearing to be weak. That the experience of shame--that feeling in the pit of your stomach that you're not good enough, bad or broken--is felt viscerally by all of us, and that for men, it's the appearance of weakness that is the biggest cause.
I now take time, when sliding or emerging from that chasm in my mind, to research depression as a social and psychological phenomenon, as well as my own personal brand. As my understanding has grown, the shroud of mystery has begun to unravel.
Less than 80 years ago pink was a 'man's' colour. It was considered masculine as it was a more decided and strong colour. Pink was only associated with girls in the 1940's. That means we've had electric shavers longer than we've had the belief 'pink is for girls'. And, it's not only colours, it's materials too...
On March 4th 2009 my Dad left the house, walked 15 minutes to a busy road and stepped in front of a lorry. He died on impact. I was 18 (a month off 19) at the time and that was the day that changed my life.
We all experience feeling wounded. Yet women tend to verbalise and process pain much more efficiently, as women have each other to confide in. Women are also 'allowed' to feel emotion, whereas men are socialised to be 'tough' and to push away any pain, instead of acknowledging it.