Ryan Reynolds Pushes Back Against Toxic Masculinity

ryan reynolds

Trending News: Ryan Reynolds may be helping to redefine what it means to be a man

Recently, Ryan Reynolds shared his grooming routine and self-care rituals with the folks at ELLE. As part of the discussion, he also talked about the concept of toxic masculinity.

Men’s Variety spoke to psychologist and men’s counselor, Dr. Tyler Fortman to better understand how celebrities like Reynolds can help guys look their best while pushing back against harmful male stereotypes.

“One of the most powerful things about Reynolds opening up about his personal routine and views is that he pushed back against harmful male stereotypes,” Fortman says.

In February of this year, Reynolds became the new face of Armani Code Absolu, a popular men’s fragrance. In discussing one of the commercials connected to the brand, he talked about how so many advertisements aimed towards men contain notions that aren’t in line with the times.

“They all feel like they come from a kit of ads—a lot of them have very distinct and, I think, antiquated notions of masculinity,” Reynolds said.

To Fortman, that’s an important comment because of its implications. “Here we have an extremely popular male celebrity essentially talking about toxic masculinity.

This is key because stars of his stature can help society rocket past the gravitational pull of caustic definitions of men,” Fortman says.

As the interview goes on, Reynolds gets right to the point about male paradigms in response to a question about what “new masculinity” means to him.

“What does “the new masculinity” mean to me? I mean, I think as we move away from or make toxic masculinity a memory, I think that certainly anything that encompasses that is new and better. I also like the idea of everything feeling more integrated than it used to. It's a pretty exciting paradigm shift that I think is welcomed by most people. I like that,” Reynolds said.

As the interview continued, he added, “When I grew up, I grew up the youngest of four boys and I grew up in a household where my dad was a boxer and a cop and there was a tremendous emphasis placed on masculinity and what it means to be a man.

As I've moved through life I've seen that none of that is really true and integrating both a feminine side and a masculine side is something that's been important to me for a long time. I don't shy away from any part of me. It's something that I just enjoy,” said Reynolds.

Born on the Scorpio cusp in October of 1976, the 42-year old actor is technically part of the “Gen-X” crowd.

But his attitude and outlook on social issues, including what it means to be a man, seem to fall more in line with millennials, according to Frank Moore, a men’s counselor and educator who MV spoke to for this piece.

“His Deadpool movies, which are funny, and action-packed, speak to the core of what guys traditionally like in films. But if you watch him closely, you’ll notice he’s not the typical male superhero raging with testosterone. Given the franchise’s popularity, the message obviously resonates with a lot of men,” Moore said.

“To my mind, his persona and presence are having a positive impact on younger people. While he may not be a millennial, I think it’s fair to say he certainly influences them,” he adds.

Moore’s observations may be accurate. In August of last year,  the American Psychological Association published a set of guidelines for mental health workers in an effort to speak to the changing landscape of men and perceptions.

And what about Reynolds grooming routine? According to the Elle interview, there’s not much to it. Here’s what he had to say:

“I can't really describe my grooming routine, because I don't really have one. It's just immensely dull. It's mostly just involves showering with water that isn't freezing and shampoo. If it's bone dry and winter outside in New York and you get out of the shower and your face feels like it's going to crack and fall off, I'll use moisturizer, but I don't know the specific products I use,” Reynolds said.

About John Lannoye 173 Articles
John Lannoye is editor and founder of Men's Variety. Based in Chicago, he blogs on topics related to health, grooming, wellness, relationships and men's grooming. Follow him on Twitter.