Gillette and the Kind of Men We Want To Be in 2019

Life is about evolution in my humble opinion.  Nothing in life remains static.  We, and the world around us is constantly changing.  At this juncture, it feels like those changes are so rapid, and sometimes people bristle in the wake of rapid change.

The Gillette “Toxic Masculinity” ad took some of these changes head-on.

I, for one, absolutely loved the Gillette  commercial.

I feel it made some very important points.  I feel that it broached a topic that absolutely needs to be broached, on a large platform, to be consumed by a mass audience.

A weeks back, I found myself in a conversation with a friend on the topic of toxic masculinity.  It feels like such a monolithic term, and sometimes, while we are in those periods of evolution and change, we don’t quite get things right off the bat.  So my question was, “What does that even mean, toxic masculinity?”

Following our conversation, I did some research a landed on what I felt was a very good article on the topic, from Teaching Tolerance Magazine,

What We Mean When We Say, “Toxic Masculinity”

How many other men wonder what that phrase means?

In reading that article, one short passage absolutely jumped out at me,

After decades of study, I deeply believe that men are not naturally violent. But in a culture that equates masculinity with physical power, some men and boys will invariably feel like they are failing at “being a man.”

In the wake of the ongoing #MeToo movement, and an awakening of the American consciousness in regards to gender equity in society, what does it mean to be a man in 2019?

At the tail end of the of the ad, Gillette directs viewers to the website THEBESTMENCANBE.ORG.  Once there, you’ll find this explanation of this ad, and future advertisements to come from Gillette,

But turn on the news today and it’s easy to believe that men are not at their best. Many find themselves at a crossroads, caught between the past and a new era of masculinity. While it is clear that changes are needed, where and how we can start to effect that change is less obvious for many. And when the changes needed seem so monumental, it can feel daunting to begin. So, let’s do it together.

It’s time we acknowledge that brands, like ours, play a role in influencing culture. And as a company that encourages men to be their best, we have a responsibility to make sure we are promoting positive, attainable, inclusive and healthy versions of what it means to be a man. With that in mind, we have spent the last few months taking a hard look at our past and coming communication and reflecting on the types of men and behaviors we want to celebrate. We’re inviting all men along this journey with us – to strive to be better, to make us better, and to help each other be better.

From today on, we pledge to actively challenge the stereotypes and expectations of what it means to be a man everywhere you see Gillette. In the ads we run, the images we publish to social media, the words we choose, and so much more.

As part of The Best Men Can Be campaign, Gillette is committing to donate $1 million per year for the next three years to non-profit organizations executing programs in the United States designed to inspire, educate and help men of all ages achieve their personal “best” and become role models for the next generation.

I applaud Gillette.  I also think they’re right.  Companies as large as them need to acknowledge that they have an impact on culture, and have a voice that can be used to inspire productive and important conversations.

So what were thoughts on the Gillette advertisement? Did you like it? Hate it? Did it confuse you? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Step 2, if you liked what you read here, SHARE IT WITH OTHERS!!! Also, be sure to know every time I post a new entry by subscribing! Also, you can check out Reflections of a Chicago Life on Facebook. I post a lot of articles and we can have some wicked discussions on there. Be sure to click “Like”. You can also check me out on Twitter, and see all the things I see around the city on Instagram, and it still bears repeating…it’s important to have STANDARDS!!

This post was created on an HP Pavilion x360.
I hate this computer.

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