The Emotional Man: Visual Analysis Of Photo

This photograph was taken by Jägerroos in Paris in the year 2010. He is a photographer from Rovaniemi, Finland. He is based in New York City in the USA. This photo is a low close-up shot. It has a shallow depth of field that focuses on the boy named “Theo” (which is one of Jägerroos’s friends). It is a black-and-white photo which could depict a lot of emotions such as regret, loss, sorrow, violence, war, destruction etc. Black-and-white portrays a formal and intense look, making more emotional. A first glance at this photo, I see a face of regret and a face of sorrow. Theo regrets or is feeling sorrowful about an event that occurred probably. Either he lost someone physically or emotionally, he is mourning someone, or he is just worried about something.

The angle an and the gray scale of the photo work hand in hand to express the feelings of Theo. We usually don’t see the emotional side of guys/men. It is always hidden because of their need to be powerful, strong or tough or in short, their need to “be a man. We wonder why the male gender hide their emotions? Most of the time this issue comes from the home. Fathers pressure their sons to suck it up and handle it like a man. This type of abuse doesn’t just happen only at home, it also happens at school. The fear of getting bullied at school stops boys from showing emotions, so they are pressured to hide their feelings or emotions in front of their friends because they don’t want to be labeled as a girl or a female. It may also come from video games which boys play such as Call of Duty, Metal Gear Solid, Grand Theft Auto, Killzone etc.

Gender stereotypes are taught through media influences and social media. They are taught as kids that females are weak and helpless. They are taught girls can’t defend themselves and they cry a lot. After hearing these stereotypes every other day of their lives, by the age of 12, they are accustomed to it. They are taught not to cry, then they are expected no to cry, then they graduate into showing no emotions. After years of hiding these emotions, they start to involve and expose themselves to violence, drugs and all other sorts of harmful activities or substance. The most common activity is forming a gang. There are lots of gangs all over the world; they are involved in shootings, robberies, and assassination. Boys also get depressed when they do not talk to someone about their emotions, it becomes too much to handle they go into a stage of depression.

When they are in this stage, they start thinking about murder and suicide. Other guys result in drinking as a “coping mechanism”. They ingest a lot of alcohol, so they get intoxicated and make decisions under the influence. What is Hypermasculinity? This means something or someone extremely or excessively masculine such as physical strength, aggression, ego, and sexuality. Fewer than the half of population of the male gender never reaches for help when they are feeling down or in a bad mood. So, they try to idolize male characters that portray no emotions towards the opposite sex or life in general. These characteristics can be from movies, video games or even neighbours that live around us.

Under this tough mask, boys wear is an emotional person that needs to be loved. We need someone to open up to, we need someone to be there for us, we need someone to love. We need to show these emotions and not be picked on or laughed at. We can help each other by sharing our problems with each other. This would redefine our power and enable us to speak out.

13 January 2020
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