‘Boys Don’t Cry’ PSA shows the roots of toxic masculinity

Bullies are made, not born. That’s a fact that Gillette tried to point out last month with its infamous ad about toxic masculinity.

If that offended your sensibilities, you’re not going to like a public service announcement released Wednesday on the occasion of Canada’s Anti-Bullying Day.

It hits like a sledgehammer.

“Toxic masculinity is a massive social issue,” Joseph Bonnici, executive creative director and partner at Bensimon Byrne, tells Adweek.

The only way we could do justice to it and educate people was by telling a story that was equally as big. But as big as the story needed to be, we also knew it had to reach people on a really personal level.

I think many young men, parents and teachers will be able to relate to some of the scenes in the film. This is just one boy’s story, but pieces of it will represent the experience of men around the world.

Anti-Bullying Day, also known as Pink Shirt Day, started when two Nova Scotia students urged their peers to wear pink shirts to show solidarity with a student who was being bullied.

It only took two students to get an entire country to stop and think.

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