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John Legend is Slamming Toxic Masculinity and How!

John Legend knows how damaging toxic masculinity can be, personally. The singer-songwriter discussed with Cosmopolitan about his partnership with AXE for their Find Your Magic Initiative, a project launched in May 2018, that challenges toxic masculinity and shows there’s no single way to be a man. Legend has always spoken out about feminism and the problems with strict gender-specific roles.

The 38-year-old father of one, confessed that he understood about toxic masculinity when he started high school when he was 12. He admitted that it was very tough being so many years younger than his male schoolmates and peers, as he did not fit in. He thinks you’re always monitoring yourself by trying to do what you think would be cool and acceptable to other people, until you figure out who you really want to be. Growing up is an ongoing push-and-pull process of you being yourself and you achieving what society expects of you.  The end product often ends up being some kind of composite of these two factors.

Legend said that fear and insecurities holds young men back from overtly expressing their emotions, especially when communicating with romantic partners. Men are afraid of talking about their fears and insecurities and are rather cautious about expressing emotions beyond dominance, anger, or power, and they are wary of getting in touch with their feminine side.

The best way young women can help to combat those fears is by listening and empathizing. He feels that women should talk to each other more often. It’s hard to do so as women are also dealing with the same thing: they deal with expectations about how they are supposed to look and how they should interact with men. Legend opines that we all try to figure this out, especially as teenagers, but he felt that the key is to listen more and empathize with one another.

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