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role models

I can make you a man, too, (Not) the Charles Atlas way.

The title above refers to a famous series of fitness and bodybuilding advertisements from the 1940's & 50's. The not so subtle suggestion in these ads, and many male-targeted ads and products since, is that masculine identity primarily about being strong, about having power, often masculinity is seen as something literally embodied. But that's not the case; masculine identity is so very much more than what can be seen, about so much more than expressions of power and dominance. And it cannot be bought from the back of a magazine. It is not the working and developing of the body that is important in terms of male identity, but rather the process of developing a healthy and respectful sense of masculine identity. That process is what I'd like to write a little bit about. In particular about how masculine and sexual identities are formed and developed. From the outset I can tell you this is going to be a bit tricky - because personal identity is (obviously) personal, and variable. I can'

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