Written by Movell D. Henriques, Jr.
Masculinity is an ongoing concept that is seemingly ever-changing in our society. Studies show that masculinity stems from various disciplines and that these diverse disciplines display the many stages of variation in masculinity. We all can agree that the conceptualization of masculinity varies culturally and historically.
The conceptualization of masculinity varies culturally because within every culture masculinity is defined and executed in different ways. The perception of masculinity varies historically simply because the concept of masculinity is ever-changing—what was defined as masculinity 10 years ago has significantly changed when comparing it to the perspective many have now.
With that being said, men today face a simple, yet complex, ongoing challenge: How to be a man. If I could pick one situation that is as serious as the widespread spectrum of sickness and disease or the devastation of natural disasters, it is the epidemic of broken men that cover the globe. Broken men, individuals that have been forced into crippling themselves by succumbing to the imputations formed by society’s expectations vs. their truth.
With all these predetermined judgments geared towards men, it is no wonder why so many men, if not all men, have developed what I like to call the “crippled king” syndrome. The crippled king syndrome entails men who are misfits when it comes to fitting into the societal conditions attached to masculinity. For a man, learning how to gracefully move past these societal conditions can be challenging and unfamiliar because these imputations have been etched into being the principles for masculinity. Because of this, in many cultures the art of masculinity has been infringed upon.
If you are a man and you struggle with the crippled king syndrome, failing to blend in with a gender-polarized society, then affirm yourself with these suggestions that affirm why it is okay to be authentic, own your uniqueness, and embrace the crippled king syndrome.
1. Embrace Your Uniqueness
All living things are extraordinary because there is no creation that is exactly the same. Although many living things have visible similarities, as similar as they may look, they each have their own distinctions. One of the authorities that every living thing holds, specifically you, is that you will always be the only you. For some men, this is a no brainer. But for other men, embracing uniqueness can be a tedious task because it may cause them to embrace the crippled king syndrome. Your uniqueness is special because it conspicuously summons you to stand out.
Consider this, “When you disown your uniqueness, you forfeit your own happiness and rob others of the pleasure of knowing who you really are.”
2. Embrace Your Flaws
Whether you want to believe it or not, everyone has flaws—imperfections one may or may not know about. Because of our societal culture, as men, many of us are encouraged to hide our flaws. Why? Usually because we have been conditioned to hide any signs of weakness. Many times, we are told to cover up our handicap(s) because we are told that we are not suppose to have flaws or weak moments. Although this belief has become generalized over the years, this notion could not be further from the truth.
Naturally, our flaws are something that we probably are not very proud of. They can include things that are both covert and overt, physical and nonphysical. As men, being transparent with ourselves about our flaws can be tricky—but worth it. Embracing our flaw(s) imbues us to move forward in being more true to ourselves—accepting that you are not perfect. Becoming familiar with ourselves assists us in knowing who we are. As men, sometimes the pride of life drives us to obliviously display a facade when traversing down the road of life.
In a way, accepting ourselves holistically gives us the freedom and reassurance to be rooted in our authentic-self—a self that results in genuinely being happier and healthier.
Consider this, “Sometimes a man’s greatest strength comes from confronting the truth about themselves and capitalizing on the certainty of who they are instead of trying to negate, hide or alter it.” Hiding our flaws robs the next generation of men of learning how to transparently love themselves and successfully live a life embracing both their crippledness and greatness.
Men, embrace your flaws. Be human in front of those who need to see your imperfections. Although it is easier said than done, don’t be afraid to let your crown shine on your shortcomings. Be as open about your defeats as you are about your victories. Be bold and live authentically through your flaws!
3. Breaking the Societal Condition of Masculinity
Many men have been conditioned to swallow their pain and expected to express little to no emotion about the chaos around them. It only makes sense for internalized stress and confusion to build up over time. Unfortunately, this can create an impetus drive that brings about frustration or even premature death. Studies show that suicide is 79% of the causes of male deaths in the United States. Of course, there are various reasons as to why men take their lives. But one can infer, that some of these suicides are influenced by a falsified view of oneself—believing that they cannot exist in this world because they cannot fit into a societal standard of masculinity. Consider this, “No one can be someone else long enough to make themselves happy without forfeiting their own happiness and no one who knows themselves will be able to stay happy by being someone else.”
Some of us have built up callouses so tough that even the notion of owning our authentic-self is become foreign to us. So many men have been dropped or have fallen due to a conditioned approach to masculinity. When dropped many times, it can cause one to feel inadequate or unworthy. At some point, it can cause one to feel misfitted.
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, the crippled king syndrome is actually an awakened state—a state in which a man accepts themselves holistically. Men, masculinity is already within you—be you. Because you are unique, the exhibition of masculinity will also be unique. Allow your uniqueness to be the foundation of your authenticity. After all, one can only thrive holistically by being themselves.