Being Yourself? Manly As

Time to ditch old fashioned ‘kiwi bloke’ mentality

All Right? mental health promoter Ciaran Fox says the campaign is needed because many blokes still believe that to be a man they need to live up to the Kiwi bloke stereotype.

“It’s time to let go of the idea that a good Kiwi bloke should be strong, silent and stoic, and to lose the whole ‘harden up’ or ‘get over it’ mentality,” says Fox.

“Suppressing the real you in order to live up to the expectations of your mates or society can be incredibly damaging.  We need to move beyond those narrow stereotypes of the past and look to the future of manliness.

“What this campaign is all about is letting guys know that being yourself is Manly As,” says Fox.

James Milne, pictured below, is one of the men who have been photographed for the campaign.  He says often the way the media portray men – through movies or television – is just full of clichés.

“They’re either strong and muscular, or rich and overweight with a beautiful wife. It’s not really reflective of real life. I feel like the expectations for men have moved on,” says Milne.

As for the advice Milne would give to a younger version of himself?

“Be true to yourself and comfortable not to follow the crowd. I think that’s becoming more acceptable and we need to encourage that.”

Ciaran Fox says the campaign is not saying that it’s bad to be a strong, silent type – rather it’s saying if that if this isn’t you, then that’s all right. You don’t need to fit into the mould.

“It’s time to say yes to things that we want to do but we’re prevented from doing because we’re worried  we’d been seen as weak or different. It’s time to acknowledge that we have feelings and emotions.  It’s time to put as much focus on growing mental fitness as we do to our physical fitness.  Now that is Manly As.”