If Justin Baldoni’s New Talk Show Is As impactful As His Voice On Social Media, Count Us In!

You already know him as Jane’s kryptonite Rafael in the hit CW show ‘Jane The Virgin’, but there is so much awesomeness about Justin Baldoni off-screen as there is on. He has spoken about the importance of gender equality and isn’t afraid to talk about feminism, especially because he is the father of a young daughter who will now get to have a very close-up view of what it is like to grow up in a world which doesn’t always treat women equally.

Justin regularly uses his social media platform, as well as his production company Wayfarer Entertainment, to create meaningful and heartfelt content that is centered around social issues as well as more personal ones. Recently, he got very candid about body image in a Facebook post, which already goes against the unspoken social norms of a type of masculinity which sees any sort of vulnerability as “weak”.

#bodyimage Two words you’ve probably never heard come out of a man’s mouth. I would bet that most of us assume that women are the only ones who struggle with their body image & feelings of low self-esteem. That assumption couldn’t be more wrong. As a man I can tell you right now that I struggle with my own body image & there are infinite layers that contribute to why,” he wrote.

He went on to describe being a skinny kid who had low self-esteem, and thought the path to his happiness was becoming more muscular.

I thought that would make me a real man. I thought it would help me get friends & girls & be respected. I was wrong…I don’t think we have ever addressed the underlying reason why most of us really go to the gym & stay in shape…Pushing ourselves, sweating, buying billions of dollars in products & clothing that hide our problem areas well following influencers who spend their entire day in the gym posting about it and make $ off our secret jealousy. What does that say about how we feel about ourselves?”

Being such a public figure, one that easily fits into the heteronormative standards perpetuated by Hollywood imagery of what the “ideal” man is, the fact that he is breaking down those walls with fans and followers sends a very important and powerful message. Body image is not just something affecting women, it is a human issue and for men to be candid about this with each other can help chip away at the toxic ideals of what we are told masculinity is supposed to look like.

The truth is that I’m one of the many millions of men & women that have body dysmorphia…To my men, talking about your insecurities doesn’t make you less of a man … it actually makes you more of a man. We all have different reasons why we want to look the way we want to look… I just think it’s important we start being real about it -because our children are going to grow up not just just looking at us but wanting to be like us,” he concluded, using the hashtags #redefinemasculinity and #themensroom.

This social media post was also particularly significant given the news he is developing a talk show format, which he is set to host and produce. Created in a similar style to ‘The View’, etc, ‘The Men’s Room’ was announced as a way to turn the tables on the ridiculous “locker room talk” phrase that has been peddled by Donald Trump and all the other men surrounding him who have no problem apologizing for and justifying his sleazy behavior (especially toward women and minorities) which seemed to help him win the presidential election in 2016.

Justin will be joined by 5 other men and discuss topics such as relationships, fatherhood and sex. We also hope they will get to discuss issues like feminism, intersectionality, and the need to amplify marginalized voices, especially right now in our political climate. Most talk shows we see today are female-driven, so it will be interesting to see men’s voices in this space and how it will impact audiences.

“I think that one of the main reasons the talk show space hasn’t previously seen an all-male show is simply because our culture has taught men that they need to be strong, confident, and stoic and that emotions are a sign of weakness. Men in our society have been socialized to suppress their feelings. We want to challenge men to open up and be okay talking to each other, and more importantly, form deep and meaningful relationships. We will probably get our fair share of negative feedback, but we think that’s a good thing,” Justin told Variety about the show.

He expressed excitement at the idea of creating a show that will be a disruptive voice in masculinity, and he wants a male audience in particular to be receptive about the topics they will cover. Justin also recognizes that the daytime talk show format was originally marketed to stay-at-home moms whose husbands were at work, but with changing family dynamics and gender roles, this could be a great opportunity to tap into a new market of potential stay-at-home dads who are looking for something that specifically caters to them.

“Our intention for creating this show is not just to be seen by millions, but to be seen by the people who need it, who are ready for it, and who want to see men come into their own and embrace another side of themselves…it’s about the integrity of the conversation,” he said.

As a feminist who isn’t afraid of speaking his mind about equality, perhaps ‘The Men’s Room’ will also serve as a much-needed antidote to the slew of toxic masculinity we have seen from networks like Fox News and many of their male talking heads (some of whom have been chastised or fired recently).

“This show is being created by and for men, first and foremost, but we also know that women will find it interesting to have this insight into men — and to know that not all of us want to be a part of ‘locker room’ talk,” he said.

If this talk show is going to offer something different to what we are seeing on TV, and if Justin’s social media presence is anything to go by, then count us in! We can’t wait to hear more about the rest of the panel as well as the network it will air on. So far we know it is set to go into production in August, but in the meantime, you can follow Justin on his social channels.

One Comment

  1. Marcia VanOrman says:

    Bravo! Can’t wait for the new show. It’s refreshing to hear clear, balanced conversation about meaningful attitudes that build a strong, caring society.

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