It is very important to me that both my children grow up knowing that they do not have to change who they are, that they do not need to limit themselves just because society is so attached to restrictive gender roles.
There are loads of incredible female role models for little girls – loads of women who refuse to conform to gender stereotypes. What I have struggle to find is men who do the same.
It seems ludicrous when men are so over-represented in the media, in the news and in politics that there are so few men showing that there is another non-cliched way to be male.
So I wanted to start a new series of illustrations, showing that men can be graceful, caring, glamorous. That they can experiment with fashion and makeup. They can love pink and nurturing roles. That they can, in fact, be whoever they want to be.
These are the men I want my son to know about.
I am starting with Sergei Polunin, an incredible ballet dancer. I showed my son some of his videos and he was entranced.
Ballet is often seen as a particularly “feminine” dance, so it’s wonderful to see men showing that it isn’t solely the preserve of women.
Enjoy this beautiful video. And please do comment to let me know of other male role models who redefine masculinity – who free it from it’s narrow constraints.