Gillette, the Best a Man Can Get

men at window Lately, there has been a lot of controversy over an ad that the company Gillette released on January 13, 2019. There is an argument that the commercial is making it so that men are soft and not the masculine figures so many believe that a man should be, while the subtitle of the ad is “The Best a Man Can Be.” The commercial depicts the very real emotions that men feel when toxic masculinity has become an unfortunate part of life as a man in the United States of America. It also shows examples of how this affects not only men but women of all ages as well.

Violence, sexuality, physical strength, and disrespecting women are some of the things this ad is focused on. Showing examples of catcalling, fighting, name calling and the fact that men are not holding other men accountable for their actions, this commercial brought light to the affect toxic masculinity has on the population of young adults to seniors. It also explains how men can be much more respectful of everyone and to make sure that if you see something, say something.

Many men experience pressure from society to be “a man” and not show emotion when emotion needs to be experienced, not suppressed, like so many boys and men have to do while in the company of other men. Self-esteem is another thing that this ad touches on and how it can be affected by things like bullying due to shaming of things like being a virgin or crying publicly. The way that this affects young boys while maturing can teach lessons that are toxic to them and makes them act in a way that they probably wouldn’t if there wasn’t so much harassment about being your true self.

One other thing that this ad focuses on is men stepping in and calling out other men who are being toxic in ways that refer to women; for example, calling women “ladies” or “sweetheart” and generally disrespecting the other sex. Women suffer from toxic masculinity just as much as men. They can be abused or mentally damaged by things men do because of what toxic masculinity has made them feel that they have to do. Feeling like men have to “wear the pants” in a relationship and be the one in charge can lead to verbal and physical abuse of spouses.

Personally, I have fallen victim to toxic masculinity. Having to throw punches when a conversation is the real solution, having to fight my inner thoughts of being attracted to other men, and feeling like I’m not the person I should be because I have these feelings. Being pressured by every other male in high school that being a virgin is the weakest thing you can be. Also, I’ve been ridiculed for crying at school and showing my actual emotions instead of trying to “be hard”. All this leads to feelings of insecurity and self-loathing only because I felt that I was lower and weaker than other young men in my high school.

So, in conclusion, the Gillette ad shows that men can be doing more to help end this cycle of toxic masculinity and the harassment that follows. Many people have brought up their concerns that Gillette is trying to take a stance on making men softer and weaker. However, they are missing the point of the ad. Gillette is showing how toxic masculinity is harmful and men can make a positive difference by speaking up and stepping in. The title of the advertisement it “The Best a Man Can Be” not “Men are being attacked for being masculine.”  

Author: Anonymous