ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — Unilever’s Axe Brand on Tuesday rolled out its new Find Your Magic initiative, the brand said is aimed at combating toxic masculinity and emphasizing the importance of self-expression to being confident.
The initiative is kicking off with a new short film, “Is It OK For Guys?,” which highlights questions that men ask themselves — including “is it ok for guys to be emotional,” “wear pink” or “wear makeup.” The brand is partnering with such influencers as Hunter Klugkist, William Haynes, Josh Peck, Ryan McNulty and Wes Armstrong, who will share their experiences and address the topics using the hashtag #isitokforguys.
Axe’s efforts are supported by partnerships with nonprofits Promundo, The Representation Project and Ditch the Label to dive deeper into the issue the campaign addresses. Axe commissioned Promundo for a study to look into the challenges young men face as the result of masculine stereotypes; sponsored the “Unmaksed” campus tour, which screened its film “The Mask You Live In” on college campuses; and worked with anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label to to create a digital network that supports guys struggling with toxic masculinity.
“Last year AXE asked guys to ‘find their magic’ and express what truly makes them an individual,” Axe global VP Rik Strubel said. “But we can't just tell guys to be themselves without addressing the underlying cultural issues and restrictive definitions of manhood holding them back in the first place. It not only hurts guys, it hurts everyone.”