Undefining Masculinity With Author and Actor Justin Baldoni

Justin Baldoni

 Verywell / Julie Bang

Every Monday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, interviews experts, authors, entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, and other inspirational people about the strategies that help them think, feel, and do their best in life.

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Meet Justin Baldoni

Justin Baldoni is an actor, filmmaker, and author. He is best known in popular culture for playing Rafael Solano on the acclaimed TV series "Jane the Virgin." 

He’s also the creator of a documentary series called "My Last Days" which became one the most-streamed documentaries of all time. 

He has gone on to direct the films "Five Feet Apart and Clouds." One of his most recent projects is a podcast and book both entitled "Man Enough" that examines masculinity in the modern world.

Why Justin Baldoni Is Mentally Strong

Justin is willing to go against the norm. He’s paving the way for other men to undefine what it means to be a man.

He’s open about his struggles and the ways in which he gains support. And he is clear that he continues to make mistakes but considers himself to be a work in progress. 

He uses his huge social media platform, his book, and his podcast to talk about mental health and the importance of shifting our expectations of men. 

What You’ll Hear on the Show

  • Why Justin doesn’t use the phrase “toxic masculinity”
  • Why we’re seeing a huge disconnect between people right now
  • How Justin found the courage to be vulnerable with his friends
  • How he’s undefining what it means to be a man
  • What he learned from his documentary about people who were dying
  • Why he isn’t afraid to talk about seeing a therapist
  • The dangers of “chasing happiness”
  • The question he asks himself before he posts anything on social media

What You’ll Learn About Mental Health and Mental Strength

  • People often confuse “acting tough” with “being strong.” But suppressing emotions, denying pain, and refusing to ask for help aren’t hallmarks of strength.
  • It takes mental strength to care for your mental health. And sometimes this means reaching out for support, talking about problems, and dealing with uncomfortable emotions.
  • It’s important to recognize how the pressure to “act tough” can take a serious toll on mental health. 

Quotes From Justin

Justin Baldoni

One of the most manly [and] masculine things that you can do is to love other people so much that you're willing to fix yourself—to love yourself enough that you're willing to go in and say, ‘There's a part of me that might be broken.’

— Justin Baldoni
  • I don't think it's possible to be emasculated. Are we that fragile as men that a woman or another man can take our masculinity away?
  • I put on this invisible armor to protect myself from an oncoming attack that isn't an attack. It's just a social situation.
  • It blows my mind that we care so much more about math and science and history than we do about emotional intelligence and feelings.
  • As men, the only socially acceptable thing we're allowed to feel is anger and rage. 
  • We don't have to find out we're dying to start living.
  • All of us are struggling, but it's in the brokenness that makes us beautiful and human and alive.

More About the Podcast

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By Amy Morin, LCSW, Editor-in-Chief
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.