book hack

The Mask of Masculinity

Lewis Howes

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

Former NFL player Lewis Howes explores why society's masculine ideals often lead to unhappiness and failure in the most important areas of a man's life.


The Mask of Masculinity

The Mask of Masculinity

by Lewis Howes


Every year, high school teacher Celine Kagan asks her class what constitutes a man. The results are always the same: strong, tall, rich, brave, athletic, sexually successful, and not too emotional. But when Kagan asks her students if the masculine ideals they have generated represent the men in their lives, the answer is always no.

Lewis Howes has learned the hard way that masculinity is a myth men are not capable of fulfilling. Given that men in the U.S. are six times more likely to commit suicide than women, the former NFL star is taking action.

Through his podcast, The School of Greatness, Howes has interviewed successful people for years. Here, he distills their musings and advice on what masculinity is – and what it should be. The Mask of Masculinity breaks down the pitfalls of the masculine ideal, through anecdotes and philosophizing, before outlining how to cultivate healthier and more fulfilling aspirations.

Favorite quote

Remember those boxes we stuffed our emotions into when we were younger? As we outgrew the boxes, they transformed into masks that hold us back and hurt our friends, family, career partners, and intimate lovers.

- Lewis Howes

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