The Mask You Live In Analysis

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In the documentary The Mask You Live In, Jessica Siebel Newsom, the director, follows groups of boys and young men as they struggle to live the America’s idea of masculinity while trying to stay true to themselves. These boys and young men are pressured by the media and hearing phrases that state what real men are; their ideas, perspectives, and thoughts are all shapes by these objects. America’s definition of masculinity provides an image of being brave, strong, and emotionless man. Boys are told growing up by their fathers or male role models to “man up”, “be a real man”, or “real men don’t cry” changing their perspective that they shouldn’t be their true selves. Due to these “real men” gender stereotypes and media pressure, many men try …show more content…
Studies have shown in the documentary state that there is a “boy crisis” currently going on in American where many young boys and men living in these conditions are more likely to develop mental illness, drop out of school, have a drug or alcohol addiction, and many other scenarios. The Mask You Live In focuses on the psychological destruction of boys due to America’s idea of masculinity of being emotionless and violent and finding ways to combat mental illness and psychological disorders cause by the “boy crisis”.
According Jennifer Siebel Newsom while she discusses her film The Mask You Live In, “The most dangerous phase in the English language is “be a man”” (Wiseman, The Observer). Newson explains how men are fighting for success, reject empathy, and never cry, which will eventually result in depression, anxiety, and violence. In the article Depression, Violence, Anxiety; the Problem with the Phase “Be a Man”, she explains that the three words “be a man”, along with other phrases, can lead boys to being more likely to suffer psychological disorders. At a young age, boys have role models that they look up too. These role models can be anyone such as fathers, athletes, or television characters. Therefore, these
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According to Odyssey, “the average boy spends about 40 hours watching TV, 15 hours playing video games…it then divulged into exposing the negative effects that TV and video games have on young boys. In TV shows and movies, there are three main “male types”: the strong, silent male, the superhero who achieves the goals through violence, and the men who do not have lots of muscle and are portrayed as youthful.” These characters are what boys begin to idolize at a young age, which is dangerous. Boys raised with this concept eventually believe that this is what a real man looks like and that it is okay to express angry, but never show your soft side or never cry. Since much of the media that is shown is degrading what a real boy is actually, such as not being athletic, masculine, or youthful, many suffer from the psychological confusion of not meeting society’s and media’s goal. The image to them of the “perfect” man is a silent version of a male who shows no feelings and is voilent. If boys are raised without expressing emotion, they go through many years of living with bottle up feelings. Eventually, the only way to express their emotions is through angry. Therefore, when there is only anger shown, many boys turn to violence. When boys begin to live the life of violence, they begin to get involve with crime and addiction. However, internally