THE EVERYMAN PROJECT
FUCK your toxic masculinity. That’s the message Tarik Carroll, Founder of The EveryMan Project advocates. “The fitness industry seems to be more into pushing product than providing wellness for ALL body types.” Tarik weighing in on the Health and Fitness industry. We also discuss the misconceptions of “plus-size” being associated with “unhealthy,” problematic structures in the modeling industry, Tarik’s relationship with beauty and more.
YOUTH and MASCULINITY
You’ve mentioned how being different is a blessing. What would you say to teen Tarik who would isolate himself as a protection mechanism?
I would encourage my teen self to stop living in fear. I would also encourage teen Tarik to find friends that encourage his individuality and accept him as he is. I would also tell teen Tarik to do the emotional work and learn how to be resilient and learn how to unsubscribe from societies opinion on who he should be and truly find out who he is.
What misconceptions would you address about “plus size” being synonymous with “unhealthy?”
Being plus size does not mean that you are unhealthy. The health, fitness and entertainment industry tends to sell us this image that being healthy means going to the gym 7 days a week for 2 hours a day, having 6 pack abs and appearing muscular which is not true. The fitness industry seems to be more into pushing product than providing wellness for ALL body types. As humans, we all have different body types and bone structures. It’s science, we are all made DIFFERENTLY. Health is something that is honestly determined by the relationship that you have with yourself, your higher power and your doctor.
Three hashtags that best describe you?
#thickandthriving #unityindiversity #selflove
What’s your relationship with health and fitness now and can you talk us through a self-care or wellness routine?
I am still a work in progress as far as my fitness routine, but I am learning to find activities that make fitness enjoyable for me such as dancing. Hydration has always been a huge key to my wellness routine as well as daily meditation to battle my anxiety.
“… do the emotional work and learn how to be resilient and learn how to unsubscribe from societies opinion on who he should be and truly find out who he is.”
THE EVERYMAN PROJECT
Since launching The EveryMan Project, how has your relationship with beauty and what you perceive as attractive changed?
Absolutely, for one I can say that my dating pool has opened up in many ways lol! Male beauty is truly diverse which is something that needs to be showcased way more than it is. Since launching EveryMan I even look at myself differently. The community that I’ve created with my project has encouraged me to find beauty in the parts of my body that I typically try to hide and to love ultimately myself on a deeper level.
Can you talk to us about your experience with male models and their struggle with perfection and body issues and why it’s important we acknowledge that we’re all victims to traditional masculinity?
I have worked in the fashion industry for 10 years and have dealt with agency signed models that are “fit” and appeal to the industries very narrow perception of male beauty who deal with eating disorders and body dimorphic disorders on a daily basis. Modeling agencies and brands have made strides to be more diverse, however, there are STILL a lot of modeling agents and brands [that] feed into this by forcing unhealthy and unrealistic expectations onto these models.
This cycle needs to end. I feel that society’s lack of representation of various body types is what’s forcing people to adapt to unrealistic standards of beauty which is ultimately whats promoting unhealthy lifestyles, which is why initiatives like The EveryMan project are needed now more than ever.
Three Pros and three Cons of masculinity?
Masculinity is an energy that is not mutually exclusive with gender. Masculinity is diverse and has a range. Everyone expresses their masculinity in a different way and men should be allowed and encouraged to do so. I feel that toxic masculinity is what has its cons more so than “masculinity” itself. Toxic masculinity is a destructive type of masculinity that teaches men that they can’t express emotions openly and encourages aggression and violence.
Toxic masculinity is what forces men into unrealistic and toxic ways of living and thinking that leads to self-hate.
“#thickandthriving #unityindiversity #selflove”
What have you learned about yourself this year?
What I have learned in these past few years is that discipline is one of the highest forms of self-love that you can give yourself.
Are there any models or artists that make you excited for the future?
Solange, Laith Ashley, Rakeem Cunningham and myself.
What would you graffiti on the back of a toilet door?
Fuck your toxic masculinity.