Masculinity has come into question more and more over the last years. Words like toxic masculinity, fragile masculinity and toxic men get thrown around more and more. Without knowing what makes a man masculine, it’s difficult to say anything about those judgments.
What makes a man masculine? There are 9 important things that make a man masculine which can be divided into three categories;
- Character traits: 1. Interest in things over emotions 2. Courage 3. Independence.
- Behavior: 4. Working to reach your goals 5. Discipline 6. Protectiveness
- Appearance: 7. Size 8. Strength 9. Clothes
Masculine Character traits
The most important thing that makes a man masculine is his character. There are some key differences between a feminine and masculine character. Since I’ve already written a whole article on this very topic, I’ll just link it “here”.
For the sake of brevity, I’ll just list some of the most important masculine character traits. If you want more information, check out the articles linked above or below.
Behavior is obviously related to character traits, although it’s not 100% the same.
You can see character as more macro and behavior as micro. While your character influences your actions, you still have a free will and can choose to do things that don’t come natural to you.
There are countless possible behaviors that can make you look more or less masculine. It depends on the action but also the context you’re in at that moment. One action can be masculine in one situation but not in another.
With that said, there are some actions that are masculine most of the time.
1. Working to reach your goals
A masculine man is goal oriented and is working hard to reach those goals. There isn’t much that’s going to stop you working to reach where you want to go.
This means you;
A: Have goals. You know where your destination is. Maybe you don’t know where the road will take you on the way there but at least you know where you’re going.
B: You’re actively working towards your destination. One step at a time.
A part of masculinity is discipline. You can make a plan and stick to it. Getting to the gym every day, going to work on time, being consistent, etc. You might say that discipline is a character trait but I would contest that.
While some people might naturally be more disciplined than others, a big part of discipline can be learned. Being disciplined can be uncomfortable especially when you’re starting with something new. It’s the behavior of repeating something for many times that builds the habit.
Without consciously engaging in a certain activity many times, it doesn’t become a habit. The consciously engaging is the discipline you need to show.
The will to protect your loved ones from dangers even if it might hurt yourself. While mothers might defend their children, that’s usually where it stops (not that this is isn’t important).
Masculine men often have the will to protect others they perceive to be under their protection. This might be partners, children, close friends, combat buddies, etc.
Like with discipline, it’s the action that counts. Protectiveness does show some character traits however like; Courage and assertiveness.
Whether you like it or not, your appearance is the thing people will judge you on the first time they see you. First impressions are important. It might seem very superficial but, your appearance will influence how people react to you and how they treat you.
If you feel you look good, you will feel better AND people’s reactions to you will be more positive so that will also make you more confident. It’s something that helps a lot to get started on your way to become more masculine.
Although in my opinion, character and behavior are more important in the long run but appearance is a easier place to start and you can see quick results.
Which parts of your appearance make you look masculine?
The average man is bigger than the average woman. If you’re over 6’ and 200 lbs., you’re likely going to be perceived as more masculine than if you’re 5’4 and 125 lbs. At least on first impressions.
Height is sadly something you can’t do about, weight is, however. Just to look masculine, you don’t have to be a bodybuilder. But having a healthy weight for your size is definitely recommendable.
Check out this article to get started on a better physique.
2. Being strong
Besides your physical size, being strong is something that makes people perceive you as more masculine. Check out this Washington post article: CLICK
Surprisingly it’s not just muscle size but the actual strength that is attractive. As you can read in the article, people that were actually stronger were rated as more attractive.
While attraction doesn’t equal masculinity, it’s a decent indicator. Most feminine women are attracted to masculinity. (Although they might not always want to admit that)
Being strong signals a lot of things that are related to masculinity. The ability to protect others and provide for his family for example.
Lifting weights will make you bigger and stronger. If you don’t want to go to the gym, getting your own gym equipment is a great way to start. Matt, the home gym fanatic at homegymresource.com can help you get started.
A 6’5 guy made of 220 lbs. of pure muscle won’t be seen as masculine if he shows up in a skirt. (unless he’s Scottish of course)
There are cultural differences in how certain styles of clothes are perceived although with access to the internet those differences are getting smaller every day.
Dressing well will give people a better first (and probably later) impression of you. Just like behavior, dressing well depends on the context. Dressing well for the context will give you a boost in confidence, in turn making you behave differently.
So by dressing well, you feel more confident AND people will treat you differently
Being masculine means you are doing your own thing and being confident in what you’re doing. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to play the societal game sometimes. Wearing beachwear to a business meeting is probably not going to work out very well for you.
Dressing well can support you in becoming more masculine by helping your confidence.
For style tips, check out AlphaM on Youtube.