We live in an era of change. With the power of social media and the steady disappearance of moralistic ‘wrong vs. right,’ we have the luxury of fearlessness when it comes to expressing ourselves. Yet there’s still a lot of work to do. For instance, did you know there’s an International Men’s Day? Neither did we. Far from being a knee-jerk response to its female counterpart, the event aims to tackle some of the most prevalent issues within our society: male suicide, masculinity and mental health. Some of the creative industry’s leading thinkers help us redefine modern-day masculinity. We begin with Daniel Edmund.
Daniel Edmund is an influencer, activist and Prince’s Trust ambassador, who redefines masculinity through style as well as substance. His blog, Milk for Tea, was initially a personal pursuit. “I grew up with a lot of misunderstandings about what it meant to be a man and the whole concept of masculinity. For some reason, I couldn’t grasp it: this idea that as a man I was supposed to be and act a certain way… I just didn’t really fit into the mold that mainstream society was continually pressing in my face. That image of being dominant and aggressive, the A-typical alpha male. Because I didn’t fit into that, I went through a lot of periods where I hated myself…”
Unfortunately, self-loathing is not uncommon in young men. A study by Orth, Robins and Roberts (2008) concluded that “low self-esteem prospectively predicts depression in the transition to young adulthood.” As is widely documented, depression can lead to fatal consequences. According to the World Health Organisation, 3.5 males commit suicide to every woman – and that’s just the statistic in high-income countries, such as the UK. It was due to these statistics that Edmund resolved to combine his interest in lifestyle with a call to action.
“When I saw that others were expressing the same feelings I’d struggled with as a young adult, I wanted to help bring about change that would hopefully make an impact on the male community.”
We could go on ’til midnight about Daniel’s amazing journey and all of his accomplishments. (He’s had many, and happens to be a genuine gentleman.) But his Ted talk says it all. Take a look:
Images courtesy of Milk for Tea.