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What is the 2020 man all about?

Masculinity

A new Modern Man-ual by fashion brand Jacamo has a few ideas…

At our recent event with Jacamo in which the great and the good stopped by to talk about some of the major issues facing men today, we were given a sneak preview of their latest Modern Man-ual, a yearly survey of UK men which serves as litmus test of their state of minds. Or an oil dip about well-being. Or a petri dish of new ideas that are spawning. Or a…[‘Yeah we get the idea BOM, ffs’]

The full report is an absolute must-read and can be read in full here, but some of the things that stood out for us were that there’s still a lot of work to be done on changing certain stigmas around masculinity and opening up about your feelings, despite some exciting new beliefs in what qualities a man should have. Also that amidst growing body image pressure upon men in a very ‘personal brand’ digital world, there is work to be done in positive representations to ensure men of all shapes and sizes feel good about themselves.

Here are some major points we picked out from the Modern Man-ual:

Activities men will shy away from due to a lack of body confidence:

  • Wearing certain clothes (27%)
  • Being photographed (24%)
  • Swimming (22%)
  • Gym/exercise/sport (18%)
  • Having sex (13%)
  • Posting on social media (12%)
  • Going on a date (11%)
  • Using dating app/websites (10%)

BOM says:

Clearly some of the stereotypical concerns most associated with women, such as outfit choices (“does my bum look big in this?” etc.) are absolutely shared by men. Not that men would particularly talk about such worries, and are more likely to hide them. But it is a concern for men to shy away from exercise for such reasons and not be as healthy as they can be. Clearly the Instagram and Tinder factor is also beginning to creep into the anxieties of men today.

 

Negative impacts on body confidence:

  • Wearing clothes that don’t fit (38%)
  • Not being able to find clothes that fit correctly when shopping (24%)
  • Images of men with ‘perfect’ bodies in ads/media (19%)
  • TV/Films with unachievable bodies (14%)
  • Being in the gym with younger men with unachievable bodies (11%)

Positive impacts on body confidence:

  • Wearing clothes that fit properly (52%)
  • Exercising (43%)
  • Receiving compliments (40%)
  • Knowing what clothing style suits you (34%)
  • Sex and intimacy (29%)
  • Seeing people with similar body types in the media (13%)

BOM says:

Clothes clearly matter, and it’s all about the right fit. Clothes that complement you, not that make you look like you were dressed in the dark by a dog. Of course, the trick here is to find clothes that fit when you’re a size that’s outside of the norm.

Very interesting to note that receiving compliments means a lot to men – how often, as men, do you get complimented, in comparison to women? Sure we may pretend we don’t like it – but we do!!

 

What does ‘success’ mean to men today:

  • Being healthy (57%)
  • Having good mental health (52%)
  • Being comfortable in your own skin (50%)
  • Owning a home (42%)
  • Having a family (37%)
  • Reaching career goals (29%)
  • Being rich (19%)

BOM says:

Well isn’t this nice? Seeing good mental health as a key goal in life for men today. And very interesting to see that just having loads of cash is less of a concern than the things that ensure genuine well-being, including a home, a family, a career and good health.

Half think being comfortable in your own skin is a sign of a successful life? This is a wonderful thing to see.

 

What are the important values and qualities in men?

  • Honesty (74%)
  • Good manners (73%)
  • Sense of Humour (73%)
  • Loyalty (69%)
  • Respect (67%)
  • Responsible (64%)
  • Physical strength (26%)
  • Bread winner (18%)
  • Sexual prowess (13%)
  • Big penis (8%)

BOM says:

Again this feels like men are moving in the right direction with old school values like bread winning seen as way less important than being a trustworthy, loyal guy, who’s funny with a bit of class. Perhaps actually the values are a return to an older school, a more gentlemanly age with a value-led approach to life.

Oh, but the big penis thing…would be interesting to see what women have to say about that too? Or maybe best not ask…

 

Who can men comfortably talk about their feelings with?

  • Partner (41%)
  • Friends (32%)
  • Family (27%)
  • No-one (24%)

BOM says:

Almost a quarter of men say they don’t have anyone they can open up to. That’s a frightening figure. Obviously a lot of work around mental health identifies opening up as a vital part in dealing with life crises or depression, and as no life is untouched by trauma of some variety, the idea some people have no-one to turn to is disturbing. If you want an explanation for why 75% of suicides are male, this is a good place to start. Men tend to choose isolation over seeking help when in crisis, and there’s still a long way to go to tackle this, clearly.

 

The last time men cried:

  • Within the last month (15%)
  • Within the last week (13%)
  • Within the last year (12%)
  • More than five years ago (10%)

BOM says:

These figures still seem quite low to us, we’re sure men cry more than this, but perhaps they’re still not ready to admit it. If they are spot on, well it means men should really look to deal with their emotions more – it’s not that we don’t have them!

 

Reasons why men have removed themselves from social media sites:

  • Spending too much time on it (37%)
  • It was negatively affecting mental health (27%)
  • It was negatively affecting self-esteem (16%)
  • Cyber-bullying (7%)

BOM says:

We can all identify with these effects of social media – what’s positive is that men are removing themselves from such sites. 37% of men have done so, according to another part of the report.

 

You can read the full report here, and check out our recent event with Jacamo below…

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