The question of what it means to be a man is something that has always been of interest to Gillette. That’s why we teamed up with GQ to look at the “state of man” in Britain today, and what it means for men to be at their best. As part of our exploration, we spoke to three men about what being a man means to them, and the steps they take to be the best they can be for those around them.
Joshua Coombes gained notoriety in 2015 with his #DoSomethingForNothing campaign. As a London-based hairdresser, Joshua felt a sense of helplessness when passing homeless men and women on the streets of the capital. Taking his negativity and powerlessness, and turning it into empowerment, Joshua realised that although he didn’t have a solution to the crisis, he could make a difference by offering haircuts and shaves to the people on his path.
Today, he doesn’t see volunteering as giving up time, instead he understands that he too is getting something back in the way of the many connections he’s made over the past three years. In the small moments of intimacy that he’s shared, he’s felt like he has returned dignity to those isolated and in pain, and in return, he’s turned his vulnerability into a strength.
At The Whittington Hospital in north London, Anthony Pender relates his best self to his position within the community. For him, there is an understanding between himself and his patients. No one, he says, should feel like a cog in a machine, and Anthony takes it as his duty to develop a bond of trust that allows him to support. Rather than sympathy, empathy is his tool of choice, along with humility and balance.
Overturning the classic male stereotype, blogger Greg Stanton wants to show his children, Etta and Ezra, that both mothers and fathers can be strong. Growing up, Greg’s father was the ‘provider’, taking on the responsibility of the family’s livelihood. Today, Greg aims to change that mind-set in the hopes that his children can see that there are no traditional mother and father roles, and that parenting is a journey of self-development and improvement.