"Toxic masculinity is a narrow and repressive description of manhood, designating manhood as defined by violence, sex, status and aggression. It is the cultural ideal of manliness, where strength is everything while emotions are a weakness; where sex and brutality are yardsticks by which men are measured, while supposedly 'feminine' traits—which can range from emotional vulnerability to simply not being hyper-sexual—are the means by which your status as 'man' can be taken away." —The Good Men Project

For many people, the toxic ideas of masculinity are synonymous with being a man. The problem isn’t about gender, genitalia or identity, it is about what we allow to be the definition of what it means to “be a man”. Masculine ideals, such as the restriction of emotional expression and the pressure to conform to expectations of dominance and aggression, may heighten the potential for boys to engage in general acts of violence including, but not limited to, bullying, assault, and/or physical and verbal aggression.
Above: Poster design process. Click on the thumbnails to read the process description.
The visual style of this campaign is inspired by the Art Nouveau era. This to play with the style so commonly referred to as “feminine”. The flow-y, organic shapes contrasting the sharp jawlines and collarbones of the vulnerably nude men depicted. The decorative frames are an abstraction of the flower Nasturium. This creeping plant symbolizes strength, and is linked to battles and long journeys and can also stand for victory of any kind, a theme fitting for this campaign.
The illustrated men used throughout are not portrayed crying “normal” tears, but dark and gooey, oozing out from the corners of their eyes like revolting, toxic oil — the toxins that needs to be rinsed out.
Link to website prototype here

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