Masks and Masculinity

In our latest photo series, we celebrate men from all over the world, who are proudly wearing their hygiene masks.

Since the coronavirus pandemic, it has been almost universally recommended to wear a hygiene mask in public. However, President Donald Trump continues to contradict the advice of his own health experts by not wearing one. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson similarly went about his business without a mask before contracting the virus. Both leaders have overseen the two largest death tolls from Covid – 19 in their respective countries since the virus outbreak. Furthermore, Trump and Johnson have built their careers on alpha dominance, whether that be through their sexist views or their unwillingness to co-operate with others.

A recent survey shows there is a widespread link between hygiene masks and emasculation. The survey, conducted by American and British researchers, found that men are less likely to wear hygiene masks because they believe it is a sign of weakness.

It is not unreasonable to suspect Trump and Johnson’s refusal to wear hygiene masks is also linked to emasculation.

The irony is, more men have died from Coronavirus than women, whether the cause of this is biological or environmental has yet to be clarified. Either way, wearing a mask helps to prevent the contraction of the virus. Therefore, toxic masculinity could be contributing to coronavirus related deaths across the world.

In the UK, men are three times more likely to die from suicide than women. Many men don’t seek the help they need in time, because they think doing so is a sign of weakness.

Trump’s refusal to wear a hygiene mask is another example of toxic masculinity rearing its ugly head. To counteract this, Attaboy has produced the photo series Masks and Masculinity, featuring men from all over the world, proudly wearing their hygiene masks, to help combat harmful stereotypes and potentially save people from a deadly virus, two very worthwhile causes.

Snake, Fashion Designer, 28, Milan, Italy

“You are weaker without a mask in this current climate. Think of it as a fashion accessory if that helps.”

– Snake
Philips Joseph, Student, 19, Karnataka, India

As a man, I understand the pressures of masculinity and the impact it has on the way we look, but this virus doesn’t care what you look like.”

– Philips Joseph
Fahad Bin Haneefa, Business Student, 19, Kerala, India

“Wearing a mask in this COVID-19 situation can only make you stronger, and if that means looking weak in the eyes of the public then so be it. It is more important to be strong on the inside than the outside.”

– Fahad Bin Haneefa

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