What is masculinity? That is the question grooming brand Scotch Porter is posing to men ahead of Father’s Day, with a new campaign aimed at getting to the heart of our often outdated ideas about masculinity (which is too often confused with patriarchy), and “evolving the perception of manhood,” according to a statement from the brand.
High school principal Akbar Cook; former Super Bowl champion-turned-businessman Carl Banks; editor-in-chief of Vibe magazine Datwon Thomas; and Emil Wilbekin, Vibe founding editor and founder of black queer platform Native Son, appear in an opening spot for the campaign. Other featured talents include hip hop artist Grafh, pastor and life coach Travis Simons, and founder of the Artoholiks, Iquan Worthington.
“Through philanthropy, media, education, fashion, music and advocacy, these men are aggressively pushing boundaries to reveal the multiple internal and external layers of themselves to inspire others,” the statement reads. “The #DareToCare campaign highlights their remarkable stories and embraces the mission by tackling pre-conceived notions of traditional men’s roles and gender-based behaviors.”
“For so long you’re taught ‘you can’t cry, you know you play ball... that’s a hard foul,’ it’s all these different things,” says Datwon Thomas of the concept of masculinity he was taught and how it has since evolved. “It’s about understanding when you need to step up into a position and when you to need to be empathetic to others and yourself.”
For founder and CEO of Scotch Porter Calvin Quallis, evolving and expanding perceptions of masculinity can be a vital form of self-care, as he explained in a statement:
At Scotch Porter, we believe everyone should dare to care, and we’re committed to changing the perception of grooming. It’s not just about helping men to look and feel better. It’s about helping men to think differently. It’s ok for us to feel beautiful, to cry and to take care of ourselves and others. With this campaign, we take the lead on reshaping and reimagining the stereotypical portrayal of masculinity to be one that is characterized as more caring and compassionate.
Just as we know fatherhood is about far more than fathering a child, masculinity is more than the presentation of power; often it is empowering others. By challenging the status quo and asking honest questions of men brave enough to be masculine in however they see fit, Scotch Porter is helping to make masculinity a less toxic, more secure realm for us all.