“The ‘Own Your Future’ project aims to provide advice on confidence, resilience and well-being as people emerge after a tough year into an uncertain but exciting post-lockdown world.”
— Book of Man x H&M Man
The Book of Man in collaboration with H&M Man wanted to bring to life a positive message about progress – building success and personal growth from out of difficult periods. The call out was made for young men who needed some help with mental health issues, anxieties, and life and career in general. The Book of Man selected six guys for the project who we thought would particularly benefit from some assistance in these areas, and arranged some very cool things for them…
Mentor sessions with role models. The first of these was with Jason Fox, for a session about ‘Resilience & Teamwork’ and in subsequent weeks Professor Green, Ben James, JJ Bola and Locksmith all be took the helm as mentors.
A photographic shoot with Dean at H&M’s headquarters led the boys through a day of transformation and fun, with new outfits for the six to help them grow confidence and get ahead in employment.
The young men will also be gaining experience and lending their talents to BOM through an Internship building their skills suitable for their ideal career paths.
The handwritten text applied these photographs was contributed by the various guys pictured, expressing their own personal anxieties, hopes and dreams.
Here is an introduction to the the six guys chosen for this project in their own words (the first three guys have images in the flow below, the remaining three guys pictures will be added soon):
Jordan E: “As someone who is passionate about becoming a presenter full-time, I am currently in the process of setting up a YouTube channel which discusses mental health and the varying effects it can have on people. I would love to relate this to my own experience as I’ve struggled with self-confidence for as long as I can remember, which holds me back a lot. The chance to talk with people who have been able to develop a level of confidence in speaking to crowds or on camera is something I’d like to explore further. I know their advice would help me to take my career to the next level and make it easier to get my message out as, for many years, I’ve been proud to tell my story in the hope it can help others.”
Alex: “I wanted to be involved in this because I could really do with some killer life advice. I’ve always found myself moving from different interests very quickly and although I think I’m pretty resilient, I think it’s because of my lack of confidence in my own skills and abilities. I also want to be involved in this because I want to show other men who aren’t the typical model type – tall and skinny – that they too can feel confident in who they are. Also, when I first came to terms with my identity, H&M was the first brand that I found clothes that fit me, so I have deep love for the company.”
James: “I play rugby, enjoy running and weight training and love taking on new challenges. I work as a Quantity Surveyor within the leisure industry, but have been furloughed since the start of the pandemic. I wanted to be involved in this campaign because after being locked away from friends, family and colleagues in lockdown, I want to jump into as many opportunities as possible, and this one is once in a lifetime!”
Pictures coming soon of the guys below…
Hassan: “I’m just an average guy who’s trying to grow and better myself every day. The past few years have been difficult but I’ve tried to keep pushing forward and made the decision to return to therapy. Addressing my insecurities and anxiety will be an ongoing journey but I left 2020 feeling more content, happy and hopeful. Destigmatising mental health, especially in ethnic minority communities, is something I’m passionate about. It’s not always easy but I try to speak openly about my own mental health journey in the hope it will encourage others to think about their own.”
Jordan F: “Most of my life I’ve been a performer and creative. I’ve got such a passion for visual arts and its always been a driving force in my life. However, everyone in the creative industry has taken some massive hits to the way we are able to operate in the past year. It feels to me our art forms are becoming devalued and side tracked. I want to take this opportunity to talk about the importance of the Arts but also the positive and negative effects that come with being a creative – giving a boost for me and others like me.”
Javan: “I’m 22 and an English Literature graduate. I wanted to be part of this project to boost my confidence, especially after the year we had. Everything stalled and it felt never-ending. Being at home and not being able to go anywhere really felt like I was imprisoned. Participating in this project is going to give me a great head-start to 2021. I’m honoured to be part of such an amazing opportunity.”
For more information on the Book of Man and the good work they do go to thebookofman.com