A new series by AdNews shines a light on toxic masculinity and encourages Australians to support themselves and their mates. Featuring industry leaders sharing personal experiences with the tagline -- When the going gets tough, get talking.
It celebrates the BOYS DO CRY campaign, which launched with a transformed version of The Cure’s iconic song, Boys Don’t Cry. The campaign is the brainchild of independent advertising agency The Hallway, produced in partnership with The University of Melbourne’s Centre for Mental Health, Heiress Films, Good Oil’s Tom Campbell, Uncanny Valley, Initiative and powered by UnLtd – raising funds for mental fitness foundation Gotcha4Life.
Next up is Tom Campbell, director at Good Oil:
- When was the last time you cried?
A few days ago, speaking to my sister who is pregnant with her first child. Happy tears.
- Tell us about your experience of traditional masculine stereotypes growing up.
Growing up my family were never very good at communicating and grappled with being able to identify and express their feelings and emotions. But I consider myself lucky, because although my father wasn’t a great communicator he really did try. For all of his pent up emotions he knew how important it was for me to learn to express myself and my feelings.
As a youngster I was big into footy and played for the local football team. We trained twice a week, but I didn’t attend both training sessions because I would go to drama class on one of the nights. This of course is totally at odds with the macho culture of football, even in under 16s. But I’m so grateful that my parents supported that. I know many others aren’t as lucky as I was, they feel trapped and alone with their feelings, and the consequences of that are horrifying.
What would you tell your 15 year old self about opening up and showing your emotions?
3. I would tell him that it’s ok to be vulnerable, to let your guard down and let people in. I would also tell him to be there for others. A lot of my friends struggled as teenagers and I wish I could have done more to support them when they felt alone with their feelings.
- What do you want for the next generation?
I just want them to wear their hearts on their sleeves and support one another. There is a real strength that comes from learning to be comfortable expressing one’s emotions.
- What do we, as a society, need to do to challenge views that men should always put on a brave front?
We must continue to rally against traditional notions of masculinity and the unrealistic standards society sets for men. It starts in the home and in school so that our kids can learn of the value and joy that comes with expression and opening up to vulnerability.
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