Justin Trudeau is one of the most recognizable faces in the world today. As Canada’s Prime Minister, the politician and activist has taken powerful stances on women’s rights, the treatment of First Nation’s peoples and the environment.
In a poignant project released by Chatelaine on Feb. 28 called #TheManSurvey, Justin and other Canadian men sat down to open up about what masculinity means to them, their own insecurities and #MeToo, the movement which formed after dozens of sexual abuse cases were revealed in Hollywood.
As a father of three and a husband to activist Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, the 46-year-old is no stranger to the trials, tribulations and responsibilities to being a good husband and raising his three children – Xavier, 10, Ella-Grace, nine, and three-year-old Hadrien. Here, we round up five things we learned about Justin from his answers to the survey.
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To Justin, being a man means being strong and supportive
I think a lot of my perspective on masculinity was shaped by the values my father has; his strength, his athleticism… Being a man is being strong and a source of support for those who need it… We always have moments where we wonder if we’re fitting some idealized or normative model that is ridiculous but questioning one’s behavior and one’s choices is human.
He had many insecurities as a teenager
As a teenager, I was too skinny, I had terrible skin, I had big thick glasses, I had a nose that didn’t fit my face. I tried to wear pink flamingo ties and bright green suspenders ironically but looking back, it was just sort of sad… I was hyper self-conscious about who I was and deeply insecure about everything you are and how people look at you.
He cries a lot
I think it’s important that people be honest to who they are. I am someone who shares my emotions fairly readily; it’s how I’m programmed. I have always been someone who reacts strongly to emotional stimuli that means I’ve cried in public a number of times… It’s who I am.
He worries about his children a lot
[I have] so many worries as a dad for all my kids, including those years that are still far enough away. I really want to make sure that my sons are raised from now with an understanding and awareness of the power dynamics that surround them and surround their sister, and are taught and learn to be allies from the very beginning.
He is a strong supporter of the #MeToo movement
A lot of well-meaning folks are saying “oh my god, I have to change everything about me, I have to give away all sorts of power.” It’s not about losing power; it’s about sharing it and using it for productive positive outcomes. There’s a mindset shift that will benefit us all when women don’t feel worried that they’re going to be in vulnerable positions.