No Signs of Weakness
Many of the signifiers that we associate with masculinity are in essence methods of keeping anxiety at bay. Clenched fists and clipped haircuts make us feel armoured against threats from the outside world. Wearing black reflects our feelings of restraint and asceticism, curbing uncertainty about ourselves. These tendencies permeate visual culture and are part of an aesthetic vernacular with which we are confronted daily. They are not visual metaphors for anxiety; rather they alleviate it, producing a direct bodily sensation. What role can designers play in dealing with the signifiers of masculinity, at a time when re- actionary ideas of manhood are on the rise?