We have plenty of reasons to celebrate International Men's Day. Apart from talking about gender equality, both manhood and boyhood need to be talked about in equal spaces too. For the uninitiated, International Men's Day is celebrated on November 19, every year and the focus is mostly on health, highlighting discrimination against men and promoting gender equality.
But in today's day and age, Men's Day is a lot more about picking and choosing the right role models who become timely inspirational stories for other men to follow suit.
© The Independent
Agreed, both men and women don't need a dedicated day to glorify their kind. We don't need to take a day out of our schedules to go on writing about why there is a day dedicated to a particular gender nor do we need to get out on the streets and tell the world about it. It's just a keen reminder of how times have changed, where we, as a society, have accepted, normalised and internalised a lot of changing aspects that gender roles have brought in to our lives.
A lot of men, fortunately, have stood the test of time to talk about normalising stereotypes in society and have been there to support and inspire numerous others through their chosen fields and it's time to talk about them today.
Here are 6 men from different fields and walks of life who continue to break stereotypes in society, so that young people have a chance to look up to someone as inspirational as them:1. Health & Fitness: Milind Soman View this post on Instagram
15k today takes this weeks distance to 60k! ð need to have an average of 60-70km per week to maintain the level of fitness that I am accustomed to ð cant run every day as I would like, but have got to make the time. . . . The goal is not a marathon, or Ironman. Out of 24hrs×7days which is 168hrs I need to find 8hrs for myself. That's the goal. . . . #keepmoving #keeplearning #Live2Inspire #fitnessaddict #nevergiveup #findtime #maketime #fitterin2019 #neverstop #runner #runnersofinstagram #runningman ð· @ankita_earthy the cutie â¤
A post shared by Milind Usha Soman (@milindrunning) on Nov 15, 2019 at 11:55pm PST
One of the greatest names in the fitness and health industry in India, the 53-year-old has broken every age and fitness related stereotype there is. He's in great shape and has been giving major fitness goals to people since a while now. The man ran a 72 Km marathon in Delhi last year to mark 72 years of Independence for the country and that's not all. He's been organising marathons since years now and urges the young population of India to always stay fit and healthy.
The man also married someone a lot younger than him and re-defined the age-gap parameter between a couple. For him, age is just a number, in every sense of the way and we always look forward to his posts and videos on fitness and health.
© Asmen India
Only a few celebrities have managed to stand out with their ubiquitous panache and acting prowess over the years, while delivering some excellent quality content on-screen. One of the fewer actors who comes to mind when I put these words together, is Aamir Khan and at 54, he's made a huge mark on the entire cinematic experience in India.
Aamir takes story-telling as an art that can also change someone's life along with changing the trajectory of cinema in India. Through his stories on real-time issues that plague society, he connects with a larger audience who appreciate his work and acknowledge the sentiments behind it.
© UTV Motion Pictures
Apart from creating a stern chance for philanthropic work on grave social issues in society, through his films, Aamir believes in his art so much that he never attends a single award function. His vision and ideologies go hand in hand with his dedication towards cinema and we're glad we have someone amidst us who understands the importance of some great cinematic experience.
His films have talked about subjects that resonate with breaking societal stereotypes very gravely. Films like PK, 3 Idiots, Taare Zameen Par and even Dhobi Ghat, talk about the damaging effects of flawed notions in society, which have left a rather big impact on the newer, evolving generation today.3. Sports: Mahendra Singh Dhoni
MS Dhoni has broken all stereotypes of leadership and every young sportsman or woman can aspire to be just like him. While there are other sportsmen in the country who've been quite an inspiration as well, but along with raging adrenaline to play a sport, you have to have a calming effect on yourself and people around you to carry forth a label of good sportsmanship and Dhoni has done just that quite flawlessly.
During his captaincy, and even after, Dhoni always motivated his team in a manner that was energising and yet calm. He never exerted any pressure and was the least aggressive of all the leaders who've been a part of the Indian cricket team.
"Dhoni, as a captain, completely demolished any form of hierarchy in the team and created a platform for players to interact with each other, suggest and chalk out strategies" - said Pavan Choudary, an Indian writer and a TV show host, in an interview with TOI.4. Fashion: Ujjawal Dubey
© Ujjawal Dubey
Breaking stereotypes in fashion is a bigger deal than its made to be. It's an integral part of every man's wish list to look and feel the finest and that's where our designers and stylists come in to make a difference in every sense of the word.
While there are many inspirational designers out there, the one name that stood out to us was that of Ujjawal Dubey, who has pushed the envelope on developing ethnic menswear through his label, Antar-Agni. His label produces sartorial masterpieces that have redefined Indian fashion on a global scale. The sense of style he creates around ethnic wear clearly resonates with a lot of Indian men who just don't want to go to another wedding honouring the black-tie affair!
"Antar - Agni means 'the fire within'. It's all about the human self and the expression of emotions, psyche, behaviour and experience. I chose this name as an ode to the years of complexities and ordeals I went through before I found myself and the drive I had", Ujjawal says in an interview with MensXP.
© Antar-Agni5. Hospitality: Keshav Suri
Keshav Suri inherited a well-established empire from his late father and Indian F&B stalwart Lalit Suri, but Kitty Su was not a part of it. The youngest executive director of the Lalit Group of Hotels has carved a niche for himself and his creative, futuristic style has earned him great rewards.
Kesav Suri is a cultural icon for the LGBTQ community in India. Recently, he filed a petition with the Supreme Court on challenging Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that criminalises a consensual relationship between consenting adults of the same sex.
The young Suri has been instrumental in driving a lot of unique initiatives at the Lalit group. He started Kitty Su in 2011 with the intent of delivering a unique experience to the millennials and it worked. Kitty Su has made big strides in the F&B business and it is the only nightclub from India to be featured in DJ Mag for three years consecutively. It has also been awarded as Best Night Club in Delhi by Times Food and Nightlife Awards.6. Politics: Dr Shashi Tharoor
© Amazon Prime Video
With his impeccable vocabulary, Tharoor is certainly a people's politician. Recently, he was seen as a stand-up comedian, on the show One Mic Stand, which was well received by the viewers.
The 10-minute stand-up act in the last episode made Twitter go absolutely gaga over the Congress MP trying his luck at humour, under the guidance of comic Kunal Kamra. Together, Kamra and Tharoor made hysterical statements and jokes about the present government and certain journalists 'who must not be named', or else they might file a defamation case! But needless to say, Twitter was quite amazed by Tharoor's stand-up act as he did something no politician has done before- "made people laugh intentionally", through his clever jokes and not through his misguided actions!
While there are several other men in the country who've truly been an inspiration while breaking stereotypes, we certainly can't name them all. But for International Men's Day this year, let's follow the lead of these 6 men who've motivated an entire nation to think laterally, out of the box!