Come on, man up.
You throw like a girl.
Take his man card away.
These are phrases we’ve all heard, phrases that are used in our daily lives in every day conversations. These phrases push genders into a small box, telling us that a woman can’t be masculine and a man can’t act feminine.
Justin Baldoni is here to change this idea. In his Ted Talk, he talked about the idea of toxic masculinity, and how he’s done trying to be “man enough” and has come to terms with the importance of embracing his feminine side. Women are not meant to be strictly feminine, while men are not meant to be strictly masculine; it’s okay to be both. In fact, according to Baldoni, we need this balance in our lives.
Baldoni’s job as an actor has pushed him to think more about the idea of masculinity. His roles as “Male Escort #1,” “Shirtless Date Rapist,” and more recently, Rafael Solano in Jane the Virgin, show this idea that oftentimes men are held to a standard of only being manly. No emotions are allowed, nothing that will tarnish their reputation of being a buff, strong, manly man. On the outside, Baldoni may represent this man, but on the inside, he knows it’s okay to feel emotional and to share his feelings and his love for his wife.
Baldoni hasn’t only been an actor, however. He’s the creator of My Last Days, a “show about living told by the dying” on the CW. He started the Carnival of Love in LA, which works to change how the community views and interacts with the homeless population. He also even launched an app entitled “Belly Bump” for pregnant women that puts together a time-lapse video of a pregnant woman throughout her pregnancy.
Baldoni clearly isn’t sticking to the male script: he’s living his life dispelling myths and stereotypes every day.
Come see Justin Baldoni on March 29 in the Archie Griffin Ballroom and see what “man-ing up” means to him.