Year 11 boys combat stigma in screening of Masculinity Project

5th Dec 2022

On Monday 5th December, parents and staff at The Macclesfield Academy attended a screening of a recent collaborative project, run by Little Blackbird Ltd, on masculinity in today’s society and the initiative to turn away from ‘toxic masculinity’.

Alongside Year 11 students from Alsager School, a remarkable group of boys came together from The Macclesfield Academy to be involved in a project that aims to enable young people to be the best versions of themselves; engaging boys in conversations and open discussions of exploration and reflection.

"Is this who you wanna be?"

Over a period of weeks, our young people came together in a space of comfort and ease, where they played games, talked and kept all judgement at bay. In an inclusive environment, the boys looked back on the feeling that everyone was involved, helped each other and were instilled with the courage to talk to someone; a notion that hasn’t always coincided with ‘masculinity’.

"Previous generations may have been told to 'man up', we can change that message to 'talk about it'."

While reflecting on and talking about their feelings and behaviours, the boys also grasped the opportunity to share what they considered to be ‘masculine characteristics’, and the men that they hope to evolve into:


passionate, loving, caring, trusted, courageous, confident, positive, respectful, humble


These were just some of the traits that the boys involved expressed as their own perception of the best version of themselves, and traits that they hope to inspire in other young people.

The short film produced from the project brings together the inspirational voices of our young men, who have taken on the responsibility of ‘changemaker’, and will be shared with others to promote positivity around conversation and continue to change perceptions on masculinity.

"You are the best influencer of you."