Films give audiences the opportunity to observe human nature. Whether we are watching fictional stories or fact-based documentaries, we are influenced by what we see on screen. Films are an active experience. As soon as we lay our eyes on the screen, we begin making predictions and judgments about the characters and environment presented to use. This active observation plays a powerful role in shaping our ideas about life. Movies can shape the way we feel about love, how we believe we should act around others, or how we perceive people in powerful positions. These are just a few ways cinema can impact our behavior. For the purpose of this article, we will look at how modern cinema is shifting our ideas of masculinity.

Though many directors are making positive strides towards changing the norm, the ‘macho’ man still dominates the box office. The muscular build donned by Sylvester Stallone or Jason Statham, for example, seems to go hand in hand with the aggressive masculine nature of some of the characters they portray. These ideals can have an impact on how the viewer perceives their own bodies. This could have a detrimental psychological effect. But in the same breath, it can be beneficial. Icons like Terry Crews or Zac Efron, in their own personal capacity, teach us a lot about what it means to be healthy and achieve our fitness goals. They are also not shy to showcase their sensitive side. These role models may drive us towards healthier lifestyle habits, granted their masculinity is accurately depicted in the director’s vision. If you wish to lead a healthier lifestyle then there are many quality articles to guide you. Authority Health is an extremely positive health-focused site that offers great tips.

But beyond the male figure, let’s take a look at how ideas of masculinity are changing.

Back in the Day

The concept of moving photographs was implemented in the late 1800s. The sheer brilliance of these early pieces of ‘film’ quickly spurred on the beginning of the motion picture industry in the early 1900s. Cinema became a revolutionary tool, providing affordable entertainment to the masses. Its suggestive powers were so influential in the early days, some suggested that regulations should be implemented. And so, the film industry created a set of rules in the 1930s that banned specific character behavior in films. They banned sex, drunkenness, immorality, and revenge plots. While this may have subverted audiences’ eyes, it could not last as an authentic means of controlling film. A film, after all, is an expressive form of art that allows directors to take audiences on journeys through worlds that parallel our own. As a result, this code was gradually phased out in the 1950s. You can learn more about the history of film here. Filmmakers took this opportunity to develop rebellious, nuanced cinema. And, out of it was born the testosterone-fueled films that are still prevalent today.

Masculinity in Movies

Often disturbing ideas of masculinity began to dominate films. So much so that it became the norm to see glorified men performing exceptional heroic feats to save distressed individuals from dangerous worlds. While these men portrayed certain positive characteristics, many argue that the hypermasculine Hollywood industry was, and still is, promoting violence and aggression as an answer to conflict. Physical strength and domination became the main means for men to get things done in movies. This expressional ideal is extremely worrying. One could argue that it trains boys to behave in outdated, conservative ways.

Shifting Expectations

Fortunately, there are filmmakers trying to change the norm. In modern cinema, directors are taking a progressive approach to film. They are challenging gender stereotypes and what it means to be a man. Take Call Me By Your Name, for example. In this film, Elio has romantic relations with a woman which does not fulfill him. By rejecting enforced patriarchal ideas of romance, he is able to have a satisfying relationship with Oliver. By taking control of his masculinity, he shows us that being a man means being able to love, lose, win, fail, and be proud in spite of troubling stereotypes. He subverts the traditional hypermasculine lead character role.

Call Me By Your Name is just one example of a modern day film that is challenging ideas of masculinity. Moonlight is another exceptional one to watch. Films like these give audiences hope that we may one day live in a world where masculinity is built around acceptance rather than aggression.



Films give audiences the opportunity to observe human nature. Whether we are watching fictional stories or fact-based documentaries, we are influenced by what we see on screen. Films are an active experience. As soon as we lay our eyes on the screen, we begin making predictions and judgments about the characters and environment presented to […]

https://www.heandshefitness.com/2018...masculinity-2/