An insight into modern masculinity
We’re used to hearing about ‘toxic masculinity’ these days, and the belief that men should be able to talk about their feelings without the stigma of it being seen as a sign of weakness – but what does it really mean to be a man? Italian luxury menswear brand Ermenegildo Zegna decided to find out by conducting its own global survey.
There were some interesting results. For example, 80 per cent of the men surveyed said they have difficulty being their authentic selves in society; while 71 per cent said there has been a change in expectations related to masculinity over the past decade. Of those taking part, 65 per cent said they do not see themselves in examples of masculinity being presented to society today.
The global study sampled 3,000 men and 750 women, aged 25-50, in key metropolitan cities, with 45 questions designed to explore today’s views on masculinity, and see how they have changed over time. It highlighted, in particular, the stereotypes men face as they navigate evolving norms and expectations.
For example, 70 per cent of male participants are aware that they are playing into masculine roles in their everyday environments – at work, with friends, and at home. Then 89 per cent of male participants in China said they play up their masculinity at work, with 60 per cent in the UK and 68 per cent in the US agreeing. This suggests that perceptions of masculinity continue to affect men’s actions as the result of social pressures to conform.
The survey also revealed that over 71 per cent of male participants think there should be a more robust dialogue about the problems that can stem from today’s views of masculinity. And 60 per cent see the virtue of embracing qualities traditionally viewed as feminine, such as sensitivity. Most of those surveyed admitted to having difficulty in sharing their emotions with friends.
Ermenegildo Zegna continues to support men and debunk the myths surrounding masculinity as part of its ongoing #whatmakesaman campaign. For more details, visit the website, or head to one of the brand’s boutiques at Dubai Mall or Mall of the Emirates.