Friday, December 21, 2007

Be A Man: The Look

When I was younger I remember how much of what I did was done to impress women. From the way I dressed to the way I talked on to my dedication to working out in the gym. When a good looking woman walked by I was the type of guy to put on more weights and try to show off. Sometimes to my own failure I was so willing to play a role to get attention. It was all about the look.

Part 1

During my 1st and 2nd years of high school I was one of those guys who tried to be a pretty boy. I would wear the suits and the paten leather shoes with the gold tips. During that time the girls used to love it when guys dressed that way. It was the manly thing to do and I wanted to style and profile. I wanted to be that guy that women would consider as they noticed my matching colors, and sense of style. Much like the birds of the animal world I wanted to be the dominant male on display showing off my feathers to appease the female sex, and to receive the benefits of a well presented male.
The Nature Boy Rick Flair

My enemies? I didn't care about them. I was better dressed than them, and better prepared than them. I had the manly walk and I had the manly talk. What did they know about the styling and profiling? What did they know about the work that it took to pick out the right suit? What did they know about the fancy cars, the stretched limos, and the private jets. That being said, what did I know about these things?

As I got older and my voice got deeper I was told by some of the women I knew that they loved men with deep voices. This was a big ego boost and I wanted to more of the type of man that women liked. I could not only dress the part now, and look like a man, I could now sound like a man. I had the cloths, I had the voice, and all I needed were the right lines and the world belonged to me.

Big Daddy Kane - Ain't No Half Steppin

During summer between my 1st and 2nd years of college I started going to the gym and working out. I went from being a skinny kid to being a built man. I remember the compliments I got during my 2nd year of college. Everything was going well, I now had everything I needed to be the man, or did I?

Part 2

Yet, all of these things, though manly, were somewhat fleeting and did not represent the man that I was seeking to be. What happens when the gold no longer has worth, the diamonds no longer shine, and the compliments become a prison? Who are you then, and what can be said for your manhood then? It was not until I returned to my roots that I started a more lasting path towards manhood.

It was during my young adult life that I decided that I want to be more morally conscious. It was then that the compliments became in who I was internally and what I stood for. That is not to say that I have completed this process of manhood, for it is continuous. There was though something different when I was complimented in what I knew, and what I did with my life.

The Role and the Reality

There was a different feeling when I opened a door for a woman, simply because it was my duty as a man to do it and not from the accolades I received. My pride would swell when I was the perfect gentleman during a date, and not because it would help me score points. A distinguishing mark was placed on me when I went to synagogue and read the Torah scroll perfectly, and not because everyone would pat me on the back.

Anyone can dress up to play at being a man. An actor can put on a nice suit, perform an oscar worthy role and receive accolades for his performance. Yet, what happens when the make up comes off, the lights are dimmed, the camera is not rolling, and the realities of the world show in his face? What happens when playing at being a man and actually having to live as a man become night and day? What happens when people can see through the nice clothing, the fancy vehicles, the cologne, and the riches? What do they see, and who are we really? What happens when society needs more than guys who can dress the part, but instead needs men who live the part? Who are we then? What happens when the world needs men who not only dress the part of the hero, but instead need men who are willing to live and breath as a hero? Who are we then?

Questions, with answers that can only be found in the hearts of all those who wear the mantle of manhood. Answers that define who we really are in the brightest of day and in the darkest of night. Matters that can either save the world, or plunge it into utter chaos. A destiny that can either be a prison or lead to ultimate freedom. You can dress the part, but can you live it?

There is something to be said about the moral and spiritual development from a boy to a man. We must be men, not because it is popular or because of the attention we receive. There comes a time when we must be men, simply because our genetic code dictates it. A young man can spend years trying to find his true path, and when he finds it something changes within him.


Julia_Claudine_Deveraux said...

Beautiful post, I'm blown away. I have always been annoyed with the idea of what a man is supposed to be, it's especially holds true for Black men. The Black male image has basically become a caricature in the media. This standard of hyper-masculinity is part of the reason Black males have so many issues. My perfect example is 50 Cent, he is exactly what White folks think a Black male from the "hood" is supposed to be. He is a ghetto cartoon superhero. Anytime a man shows any emotion other than anger or hostility he is considered "soft". Fatwa!

Ehav Ever said...

Hey JCD,

Thanks for checking out my site. I am firm believer that even when groups like the media take the image of what it is to be a man, or a woman, and twist it that is when people have to stand up and shine the most. Not to sound to much like a comic book, but sometimes it is in the darkest of night that a person can shine a light and show people the way.

The way I have looked at things for the past 10 years is that people can look at me as being soft all they want. Yet, I believe that I am living as the real thing to the best of my ability. I have never fit into a popular stereotypes and even when I tried it was natural.

There are many men out there who are living exactly as we are supposed to. We are the ones who can make differences by simply standing for something. We are the ones who can use things like blogs and such to change the image. We are the ones who can inspire by working with kids and showing them a better path.