We have always been very varying with the concept of beautification and self-care for men. The concept and idea seem alien to us. But over time, there have been several men who are shattering the stereotypes and coming feeling bold for taking care of themselves and taking out time to look good. The needs of a modern man are changing and ever-evolving. Most people and theories have led us to believe that 'Men are rigid and hate change', but do they? Or have we just convinced ourselves to believe the aged prerogative of how men should and should not be. Rahi Chadda is a digital creator and fashion influencer based in London who was featured in the Forbes India 30 Under 30 List for 2022. He has his hands on several projects and within a short span of time, he has worked with several prestigious brands. He sat down to discuss the ever-evolving needs and the dynamic lifestyle of a modern man.
The Dynamic Lifestyle
As humans’ social communication is one of our most powerful tools and with a significant increment in the new digital age order, changes in globalization, and cultural integration, there’s a vast alteration in modern society. If were to touch briefly upon the history of modernism, the twentieth century witnessed a radical approach to the way modern civilization viewed life, politics, art, and other activities. This attitude has flourished over time with new assumptions about reality and culture that new generations have instilled within society. There’s a new language that defines the art of living. A larger emphasis is placed upon concentrating on building a better quality of life. Theoretical and technological advancements are placed upon higher scrutiny and there is a somewhat rebellious representation in the appearance of nature, people, and society.
The Modern Man Evolution
In a research report prepared by Stephen Burrell, Sandy Ruxton, and Nicole Westmarland, named Changing Gender Norms: Engaging with Men and Boys, Durham University, October 2019, when discussing the impact of gender norms, the interviewees generally accepted what it means to act like a man is less clear-cut than it used to be and for many men and boys the expectations of masculinity have liberalized, whilst others identified that some of the tensions and contradictions underly these overall trends. With the way, society has developed the evolving needs of men have impacted their lifestyle in a much greater and different way.
Some people say that “men can’t change!” Yet men have proven that they repeatedly change and adapt to the culture around them. The knowledge about gender and in particular masculinity is limited to one’s personal experience.
Men’s mental health is a topic that is more predominantly spoken about. The wrestling phrase ‘Open-up vs. Man-up’ is proof that men for a large factor of society were unable to express their feelings out of fear of being judged or their masculinity being tarnished. The world is now changing and the gendered needs of men in society are also trying to be de-stigmatized. The idea of opening up about your feelings is an evolution within mental health and men’s mental health especially. It’s a step in a positive direction where men can receive the right type of help rather than being told to change their masculinity. I ask, why should men be criticized for being emotionally deficient? Why this generalized approach that if men are not expressing their feelings, they are to be blamed for this. As a society, we should focus more on empathy and adapt our mentality and approach to take account of any deficiency.
Modern men do appear to be more willing to display their vulnerabilities and this movement should be celebrated as a step in the right direction. This also showcases progression within the evolution of society and its mentality which has made modern men feel comfortable and carefree enough to showcase a vulnerable side to them. The coronavirus pandemic certainly acted as a catalyst for this and taught many of us to have a much calmer and compassionate approach towards life and its complexities. There are still some men who of course are unpolarised and unaffected and prefer to adhere to stale stereotypes of masculinity, where they can’t cry or have to maintain a tough stance 24/7 but this as GEN-Z’s would call it is toxic masculinity!
Where Do We Stand?
Let us also consider the evolving needs of men when it comes to Fashion. Creative fluidity is being celebrated and we have certainly come a long way from when masculinity was shaped and restricted by gendered expectations. Masculine ideals of power and strength would be molded and interpreted by patriarchal norms. However, modern menswear has brought about a significant change in the mindset. Where men are encouraged to show courage in what they would like to wear, as well as grooming and beauty. Just because men like to dress up, wear make-up, or are in touch with their femininity it doesn’t make them any less of a man. This mentality has also given menswear a shift away from the constricted gender divides. If society has come to terms with women wearing trousers, then why hold a taboo about a man in a skirt? Whilst society has progressed there are still misogynistic ideas about masculinity that remain upheld and with the needs of the modern man evolving, cultural shifts pertaining to breaking barriers for men to not oblige to toxic dress codes.
If were to discuss a modern gentleman’s guide to a dynamic lifestyle, I would call it intelligent living. From technology, cars, food, and drink, being a modern-day gentleman is about more than just dressing the part. A modern man has an insatiable thirst for knowledge and living but what makes a real modern gentleman is one who has an even greater passion to communicate his learning for the greater good of society. This is what defines him.
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