3 minute read + podcast
The new Gilette ad is creating a stir with their new campaign on overcoming toxic masculinity and ‘being the best a man can get’. So with all eyes on what it means to be a man, we talk to Lewis Howes about what it means to be a man. Watch the Gilette advert below and let us know what you think about their campaign, and Howes idea on what it means to be a man on twitter, instagram or facebook.
Lewis Howes is The New York Times bestselling author of The School Of Greatness and a lifestyle entrepreneur. A former professional American football player, he is currently in the national men’s handball team. His The School Of Greatness podcast has been downloaded 75 million times and is ranked one of the top 100 podcasts in the world on iTunes. In 2013, Howes was recognised by former US president Barack Obama as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs in the country under the age of 30.
‘In my personal life, and my career, I’d always subscribed to traditional notions of masculinity. Work hard, be tough, win at all costs, be aggressive. As a straight “jock” guy, I was not allowed to share my emotions,’ he says. ‘My pain, my fear, my anxiety? I had to swallow them or be called multiple derogatory names. Until my late 20s, about all I was doing was suffering. The torment of my school years – having trouble reading, being big and awkward and enduring my fair share of bullying – was so profound, I could hardly stand to be alive. Four and a half years ago, I opened up about being raped by a man when I was five years old.
For 25 years, I had kept it a secret. I didn’t tell anyone. I was so ashamed and embarrassed. I thought no one would love me if they knew that about me. Once I started to process the trauma, I could start to heal. The more I talked about it, the more power I had over it and the less power it had over me. For 30 years, I would sit in bed for hours, suffering with anxiety. Once I learned to heal the trauma, I could sleep again. It gave me inner peace,’ he says. ‘Even if men haven’t experienced trauma, I want them to be able to access a wide range of emotions, and also to be able to express them.
‘I was building a business around “greatness” and it didn’t seem like a smart financial move to write a book about vulnerability and masculinity,’ he says of his latest book, The Mask Of Masculinity, ‘but it was the only next step I could take. I’m now committed to helping men end their suffering, to find a way to be vulnerable, to feel less lonely, to express themselves, access inner peace and for ways for them to create meaning, fulfilment, love and connection in their lives.’
Listen to the podcast of Editor-in-Chief Suzy Walker interviewing Lewis Howes here:
The Mask Of Masculinity: How Men Can Embrace Vulnerability, Create Strong Relationships, And Live Their Fullest Lives’ is out now (Hay House, £14.99).