Damiano David (of Maneskin), Modern Masculinity & LGBTQIA+ Support
In my opinion, there is nothing hotter than a straight man who is unequivocally secure with his feminine side, and thus who is not afraid to openly support the LGBTQIA+ community.
Enter Damiano David of Maneskin.
Think of an amalgamation of David Bowie’s flamboyant style, Prince’s sultry sensuality, Iggy Pop’s gritty vocals--and you get Damiano David, the vocalist of (newer) rock band Maneskin (which means “moonlight” in Dutch).
I discovered Damiano David and Maneskin purely by accident. I was scrolling Instagram when a headshot of a man’s face caught my immediate attention. It was Damiano David donning a feminine low-cut leopard print blouse with a delicate gold butterfly chain draped around his neck that hung over some partially obscured tattooed words on his chest. The man’s facial bone structure looked like it had been hand-chiseled by a Renaissance sculptor, his dimples reminded me of angel kisses, and his smoldering eyes, accentuated by dark make-up, made me think of a bedroom and...well, never mind.
“Who is that?!” I shouted while seated on the living room couch, and I swear one of my house plants jumped.
I immediately watched videos of Maneskin and was transfixed. They were good! Scratch that, they were very good! Not only did they sound like good old rock ‘n’ roll with some cultural flair, but their uninhibited on-stage maneuvers and Broadway show-worthy wardrobes were beyond magnificent.
Three of the members—vocalist Damiano David, bassist Victoria De Angelis, and guitarist Thomas Rigga—met in high school, and drummer Ethan Torchio joined the group in response to the threesome’s Facebook posting stating “Musicians Wanted.” The band played on the streets of Rome and gained notoriety as they were showcased on Italy’s version of X Factor in 2017 and won the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 and Sanremo Music Festival 2021. Maneskin has performed with the likes of Tom Morello and Iggy Pop; been showcased on Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show; and won the Best Rock Act award at the MTV Europe Music Awards and Favorite Rock Song category (for “Beggin”) at the American Music Awards. Additionally, they opened for the Rolling Stones at Allegiant Stadium (Las Vegas), and Vanity Fair claims the group is “the biggest rock band to emerge in years.”
And if this recognition was not enough, the young adults have been spotted at some of the hottest entertainment events in the world, including Fashion Week.
Speaking of fashion…
Red lederhosen, purple sequin jumpsuit, plaid school-girl mini-skirt with knee-socks, hot pink short-shorts, giant pearl necklace, gold lame blazer, Willy Wonka top hat, purple feather boa, fishnet stockings under thigh-high black patent boots, chandelier earrings, black nail varnish and amethyst eye shadow…these are a few of Damiano’s favorite things.
I can’t decide which I think would be more exhilarating: Exploring Damiano’s “modern masculinity” closet or sprouting wings and flying. It’s a toss-up.
What is “modern masculinity” (aka “new masculinity”) you ask? According to Psychology Today, the old masculine stereotypes of being aggressive, tough, dominant, hypersexual, and unemotional are being replaced by a softer form of what has been traditionally perceived as masculine. Being the tough protector and sole provider of a family places men at risk for mental health issues and jeopardizes their personal and professional relationships. “The Atlas Complex of Men” is one where men carry the weight of the entire world on their shoulders, and we are learning that this is not healthy, not only for men but for everyone else in society, too.
A research project that included over 200 males of various ages and backgrounds found that modern man leans toward being empathic, inclusive, authentic, self-aware, and emotionally intelligent. Interestingly, the study also found that men don’t feel that they have many role models who embody modern masculinity.
Psychologists state that ways men can embrace modern masculinity is to expose themselves to opinions in the media and arts that differ from their own, including considering political viewpoints that they don’t typically embrace. Through travel and interacting with different cultures, men can increase their understanding of people who are different from themselves, which breeds compassion. Men should also be mindful of the image they present to children and grandchildren, colleagues, and their social media followers. Additionally, modern men can lend support to others who feel that their voice is not always being heard.
For example, I was watching interviews of Maneksin when they were asked their thoughts about the LGBTQIA+ community; here was Damiano David’s response, “If you live in a society where there are many different groups of people, it’s the bare minimum to recognize everybody as human beings and as existing. A lot of our fans are in the [LGBTQIA+] community, and of course, every time we have the chance to speak up for them and use our visibility to speak about topics that have to be spoken, of course, we try to be aware enough to talk about it, and we try to do what has to be done.”
There is an Instagram Reel of Damiano David where he is holding the phone close to his face while talking and crying. He’s speaking Italian, so I have no idea what he’s saying (except for the “grazie” bit), but he’s clearly not shy about crying and wiping tears from his face with hands sporting black fingernail varnish. [The reel has over 7K likes at the time of this writing.]
Now, that’s a real modern masculine man right there. He is not afraid to express his feelings, nor is he wary of supporting others who are different from himself (he’s in a long-term heterosexual relationship at the time of this post).
Maneskin’s world tour is in full-swing, and the band has proven what fans already know…rock ‘n’ roll never dies! And I'd add to the sentiment that the evolution of the modern masculine man is long overdue...and sexy as hell!
PS: I’ll be having a Great White North experience in October 2023: Maneskin 10/15 and Guns ‘n’ Roses 10/16 (both in Vancouver BC). Get your tickets and join the new masculinity party!