Social media erupted recently when actor and comedian Siv Ngesi unleashed his inner diva in the form of ‘Sivanna’. One might say “it’s just a dude in a dress.
What’s the big deal?”. Besides “drag” (a male, who uses drag clothing and makeup to imitate and often exaggerate female gender for entertainment purposes) being an art form – there’s a powerful statement being made here.
This presentation speaks directly to the culture. It might make some uncomfortable or give others courage to embrace who they are. For sure, it’s not just a conversation starter or an attention seeking strategy.
The act itself is bigger than Siv’s sexuality (that is in question now) as it confronts the issues of “toxic masculinity”. Men are socialised to conform to “traditional ideology” – which can hinder them from exploring what it really means to be a ‘man’.
Siv Ngesi’s stunning alter-ego Sivanna confronts the old notions of manhood. For decades, men have maintained an appearance of hardness, being encouraged to mask distress, and keep up with the “tough guy” behaviour.
If it takes a dress, makeup, a weave, and painted nails to start a conversation so be it!
Watch Sivanna showing her beauty, vulnerability and strength:
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The first step to redefine manhood begins with the appropriate language. We can no longer entertain such statements as “I love you man, but no homo”.
What does that mean? The love for each other should go beyond sexuality.
Of course, toxic masculinity doesn’t mean all men are inherently toxic. It is what can come of teaching boys that they can’t express emotion openly or that they have to be “tough all the time’.
Being “feminine” or “soft’ isn’t weak all that. For decades, we used terms like “macho” to describe the of hulking masculinity that men were, on some level, expected to aspire to.
The mission is to break the “norms” and redefine masculinity.
As young men our responsibility is breaking down stereotypes that are holding us back. We have to leave outside the “man-box” and express who we truly are.
Guys, let us know in the comments below how you feel about Si’s move, lets get talking…