There's no doubt that masculinity, like other socially constructed notions, relies fully on expectations. From an early age boys are given an example of how to act, look and behave to be not only accepted in society, but also successful in life by obeying a number of unspoken rules that begin with 'a true man must…'. The portrayal of masculinity boys see in movies can be their only example of a well-collected role model, therefore fundamental in molding the character that hasn't fully developed yet. Unfortunately, these ideas create limitations – if you don't want to be a macho man – maybe you're not a man at all. And if not identifying yourself with all masculine traits can make you an outcast, showing typically 'feminine' traits can make you a target. Those ideals were made to facilitate life, not to ruin it, so as a response to the damage, a new statement was made: ' we need more than one way to be masculine.'
Saying that masculinity is in crisis is both a cry for help from those uncomfortable with societal changes towards acceptance and mutual respect, and a call for constructive discussion. Why is the notion changing and how?
The goal of masculine representation now is not to reinforce the existing patriarchal male image, but rather to produce an alternative male role model. The portrayal of male masculinity is changing – to see how, we'll go through box office hit movies released from the 1980s to the 2020s.