Redefining Masculinity With Actor Justin Baldoni (EXCLUSIVE)
Actor, Justin Baldoni discusses redefining male masculinity in his new series, "Man Enough".
Actor Justin Baldoni Takes On Re-defining Masculinity With His Newest Series
Justin Baldoni is many things. Son, father, husband, actor, feminist; and we were lucky enough to talk to him about his new show, Man Enough and recent TedWomen Talk, "Why I'm Done Trying To Be "Man Enough" ". Baldoni is tackling the role that traditional masculinity and gender stereotypes play in our lives, and the effects they can have on society at large.
"I grew up as a very emotional guy, I was always very sensitive, I got my feelings hurt very easily, I was bullied when I was younger. I had a hard time making friends especially guy friends, I was one of these kids hat was an ugly duckling."
So with his personal experience driving his passion, he turned his insecurities into a conversation.
"Man Enough really came about because I wanted to take a dive into what it really means to be a man, and this question of "do we have it right"? Why are we they way that we are, who can we learn from? Is [masculinity] just a traditional thing passed down from generation to generation? It was personal to me. And then over the summer it blew up, musicality was talked about with our new president. And this all happened around when my social engagement and following grew and also around the time Ted asked me to speak, which was not planned, so all of these things kind of happened all at the same time".
TAG a man in your life. Someone who you feel represents what it means to not just a be good man but a good human. Let’s finally lift each other up and call out all the good men as well. 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼 Men, it’s time we start questioning the scripts that we’ve been given and the roles that we THINK we need to play as men in the world. I realized recently that I’ve spent the majority of my life pretending to be a man that I’m not, pretending to be strong when I felt weak, confident when I felt insecure, and tough when really I was hurting. This is an extremely important time in the world right now and we owe it to the women in our lives to to step up and play a new role. A role that for many of us can be uncomfortable because it will require us owning up to our mistakes. A role that doesn’t have a script or a rulebook and where we know that at some point we are 100% going to say the wrong thing. But the beauty is that the only thing this role truly requires is a set of ears to listen, a heart to feel- and something many of us men of us have in spades- vigilance. This is the most important role we’ve ever played and there has never been a more critical time to step up and into our potential. So together let’s lift each other up and strive to not just be GOOD MEN… but GOOD HUMANS. I am. You are. WE are. #ManEnough
So Baldoni created, Man Enough a series where men discuss various topics ranging from redefining masculinity, sexual assault, and body dysmorphia. Each episode will include experts in certain fields as well as a dinner-party style conversations, incorporating different guests like actor Matt McGorry and poet Prince Ea.
Regarding the cast,
"Over the last couple years, I have been searching and looking for men who I would consider good men who walk the walk. I think we all encounter men and women especially in Hollywood and their imageis built on branding; they say one thing and do the other. When I set out on this project, I asked myself, can I find men that are really walking the walk, or even ones that are walking the walk but not really talking about it. And Matt was one of the first guys that came to mind. What I loved about Matt is that he took where he came from, he took his privilege and said I need to do something with my celebrity. He’s eloquent and a heartfelt man, he actually practices what he preaches".
So what's next for Baldoni in relation to changing gender identity and norms. On fixing sexism:
"I don’t believe it’s a man’s job to do that work of, my interest is in how can we solve the other half of the equation. How do we make sure boys know it’s okay to show up as they are? And it’s okay for men and young boys to embrace their feminine side and have female friends and I believe if we start that conversation among men, that’ll be a huge tool in the fight for gender equality. You have to teach boys who they are and that not put them down or tell them anything’s wrong with them but there’s a safe space for you to be you.
"And that’s what I’m hoping to create with this show, letting men know that they are enough. At the end of the day, if it affects one young boy or one man then it’s all worth it, then that one man, that one boy will interact with millions and millions of people".
To tune into episodes of Man Enough click here.
The next episode "Body Image" will premiere on Thursday, January 11th.