Happy International Men’s Day – to men who were told it’s weak to cry, to feminist men, to men who are trying to do their best, to men who are tired of being stereotyped as macho and unemotional, to men everywhere! The entertainment industry still has a long way to go in portraying men as real people and not superhumans who beat up 30 guys at once or who are constantly being the knights in shining armor. But there is headway, with the emergence of fictional men written as well-rounded characters, and who we all look up to. These are some of them.
1. Sahil Mirza, ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’
Image via Scroll
Unlike many other protagonists, Sahil (Rajkumar Rao) does not chase his lady love when she confesses she doesn’t love him. Instead, he helps her get together with her partner, and respects her wishes. He also helps her in getting the approval of her conservative family, who are shocked to learn that their daughter is in love with a girl. Sweet, supportive and respectful – Sahil is our man!
2. Jake Peralta, ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’
Image via Looper
A man who acknowledges the privilege of his gender and actively tries to end misogyny and homophobia? Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) has been a fan favourite for ages, not only for his portrayal of the brilliant and funny detective, but for being a man who understands his mistakes, tries to learn from them, and always supports his co-workers. We love him, not only because he likes Die Hard, but also because he actively tries to grow into a good person.
3. Laxmikant, ‘Pad Man’
Image via The Week
Talking about menstruation is a huge taboo in our society, and for men to talk about it? Tauba Tauba! Breaking all these stereotypes, Laxminkant (Akshay Kumar) goes against the stereotypical society and vows to fight against the taboo. Based on the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, Pad Man talks about how it is the duty of every citizen to ask questions about taboos that harm society and make ways for everyone to live without judgement.
4. Amol, ‘Chhapaak’
Image via India TV News
While Bollywood is sometimes guilty of stereotyping beauty as someone who’s fair or pretty, it also gives us gems in the form of Amol. Amol (Vikrant Massey), who runs an NGO for acid attack survivors, and falls in love with the courage of Malti (Deepika Padukone), another survivor. He also provides these women with the courage to go forth and break all walls, which is why he is the ultimate man!
5. Ben Wyatt, ‘Parks And Recreation’
Image via CheatSheet
Let’s face it, everyone wants to be Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott). He’s unafraid of embracing his geek side, he always supports his loved ones, and is especially awed by his wife, Leslie Knope (Same, Ben. Same). Not only does Ben support Leslie (Amy Poehler) in her decisions, he always encourages her to go after her dreams, and criticizes her when he knows she’s wrong. We love you, Ben.