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Just Try to Tell Tom Hardy and Bucky Barnes That Wearing a Mask Isn’t Masculine

The men, we regret to inform you, are at it again.


Bucky Barnes as The Winter Soldier

Imagine looking at Tom Hardy wearing his mask and saying that that’s not masculine! Well, that’s essentially what men are doing. Men are reportedly less likely to wear protective masks during a pandemic because it’s “not cool” and “a sign of weakness.” I guess coughing out your lungs and not seeing your family for an extended period of time is, in a way, a staple of masculinity, so why not all be absent fathers with smoking problems!

In all seriousness (as serious as we can be about the relative masculinity of potentially life-saving masks), men just don’t want to admit their own weaknesses—breathing, apparently, is FOR GIRLS—so they’re afraid of wearing masks. So, I decided to look at some of our favorite mask-wearing men throughout film and television, who all these supposedly incredibly masculine men who refuse to cover their obnoxious mouths apparently think less of.

Tom Hardy

The man behind the mask time and time again, Tom Hardy. In Mad Max: Fury Road, the masked wonder appeared with a mask that would … honestly do him no good in our current situation, but it is a mask, nonetheless. So, are you going to sit and tell him that he’s not manly enough because he’s protecting himself from the invisible virus?

Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road

(Warner Bros.)

Bucky Barnes

You want to take on the Winter Soldier and take his mask off him? Have you seen the fight scene in Captain America: Winter Soldier? You’re saying that’s not manly? I’d like to see you manly men take on Bucky Barnes under Hydra control and see how YOU fair.

Bucky Barnes

(Marvel Entertainment)

Tom Hardy

Oh look, he’s back again! In Dunkirk, Hardy spent most of the movie in a plane, meaning he had on this fun mask the entire time. Again, MANLY. But if you want to try to take him down in a plane with your bare hands and mask-less face, by all means, go ahead and try it.

Tom Hardy in Dunkirk

(Warner Bros.)

Peter Parker

I will personally fight you if you say my son is not manly for wearing a mask. He’s protecting his identity and, as it turns out, his health and the health of others! You know Peter Parker would wear a mask for the safety of others, the safety of his Aunt May, and himself while being quarantined in Queens, even though his own body probably has enough extra disease resistance to render him safe either way.

Peter Parker


Tom Hardy

The never-ending saga of Tom Hardy in a mask. This time, it’s Venom. So if you want to die on the hill that Venom isn’t manly, then … that’s your call, I guess.

Tom Hardy in Venom


Darth Vader

His mask literally helps him breathe and probably purifies the air, but sure, tell Darth Vader he’s less of a man because of it. He’ll just force choke you.

Darth Vader


Jim Carrey

When a very timid man gets the powers of Loki, you get The Mask. So, do you want to take on Loki? Fine, go ahead. I’ve seen his power; I’m not telling him making a mask isn’t manly. That can be your death bed.

The Mask

(New Line Cinema)

Michael Myers

Lol …

Michael Myers


Tom Hardy

Look who it is again! Tom Hardy, but this time, he’s taking on Gotham in a mask. He was born in the darkness, and you’ll know that darkness well if you tell Bane that he’s not man enough because he wears this. That’s your mistake, and I’ll gladly watch you pay for it.

Tom Hardy as Bane

(Warner Bros.)

Frank from Donnie Darko

I don’t want to talk to Frank from Donnie Darko at any point, but if you want to go ahead and tell this creepy-ass bunny that he’s not your human version of “manly” because he’s wearing a mask, then you go right on ahead.

Frank in Donnie Darko

(Pandora Cinema)

Sebastian Stan

This man has been quarantined alone for months. Try to tell him his mask makes him “unmanly.” I feel like you’ll get yelled at to the point where you question a lot about yourself. NOT FUN!


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Well this feels weirdly familiar… #biliomask #staysafe

A post shared by Sebastian Stan (@imsebastianstan) on

Do you get my point or should I keep listing men whose masculinity doesn’t hinge on their choice of facial attire? Why are men like this? It’s unmanly to try not to get yourself and others sick? It’s okay, Chad. Viruses can be scary. You don’t have to be that dude who thinks he can take on a disease head-on.

So here is to the Chads and the Todds of the world: Wear a mask. Stop trying to be your own warped version of a “hero,” because not wearing a mask for selfish, absurd reasons makes you the villain.

(via New York Post, image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel (she/her) is an I, Tonya stan who used to have a poster of Frank Sinatra on her wall as a kid. She loves superheroes, weird musicals, wants Robert Downey Jr. to release a new album, and would sell her soul for Pedro Pascal as Kraven the Hunter. She is Leslie Knope and she's okay with that. Secretly Grogu's mom and Lizzie Olsen's best friend.