The Vamps' James McVey has never shied away from touchy issues, from honestly opening up about his struggles with acne to the types of movies that make him cry. In an essay for Huffington Post UK's "Building Modern Men" series, the singer penned a heartfelt treatise about the expectations for masculinity in our society today and how "outdated gender constructs" are harming men.
He links the high rates of male suicide worldwide to the pressure to conceal emotion in order to be seen as "strong" and "masculine." Well, James is fighting against that mentality.
"Our emotions are not our enemy. We should embrace them. In order to be truly happy and healthy we must first realize that it’s okay to not ‘be okay’. As humans, we should feel equal in emotion, for emotion has no gender," he wrote.
"We should also be comfortable in acknowledging and accepting that emotion is normal. As a man, I should feel free to express my feelings on my own terms, and not in a way that society wants me to."
Well said! Gender roles put unnecessary pressure on everyone in different ways. It's refreshing to hear celebrities publicly fight against these socially constructed expectations.
What do you think about James' message? Sound off in the comments below, and feel free to share your experiences with limiting gender constructs in the comments below.
If you're thinking about suicide, please call 1-800-273-TALK in the U.S. or visit IASP to find a helpline in your country.