Sometimes you wear the mask, and sometimes the mask wears you.
After the success of her documentary Miss Representation, which details the mainstream media’s pernicious effects on girls, Jennifer Siebel Newsom began work on a complementary film for and about boys.
The Mask You Live In exposes the psychological tolls masculinity takes on boys — and illustrates how the mask of manliness is slowly suffocating young men. On her Kickstarter page for the film, Newsom observes, “Compared to girls, research shows that boys in the U.S. are more likely to be diagnosed with a behavior disorder, prescribed stimulant medications, fail out of school, binge drink, commit a violent crime, and/or take their own lives.” The question she wants to answer is, “As a society, how are we failing our boys?”
Newsom’s approach is to interview several experts on masculinity, including sociologists, psychologists, and activists, and weaves their theories with personal accounts from school-age boys, many rather troubled. The Mask You Live In also appears to pay considerable attention to the way masculinity is informed by race and sexuality.
Watch the Mask You Live In trailer: