The Mask You Live In follows boys and young men as they struggle to stick true to themselves at the same time as negotiating The us’s limited definition of masculinity. Pressured by the media, their peer groups, or even the adults of their lives, our protagonists confront messages encouraging them to disconnect from their emotions, devalue authentic friendships, objectify women, and get to the bottom of conflicts through violence. These gender stereotypes interconnect with race, class, and circumstance, creating a maze of identity issues boys and young men should navigate to turn out to be ‘real’ men. Experts in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, sports, education, and media also weigh in, offering empirical evidence of the ‘boy crisis’ and tactics to combat it.
The Mask You Live In in the end illustrates how we, as a society, can raise a more fit generation of boys and young men.