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The problem on dimensions that count

Skam Italia 5 breaks the taboo about masculity and size

The problem on dimensions that count Skam Italia 5 breaks the taboo about masculity and size

When the theme around which Elijah's story would revolve in the fifth season of the TV series was announced, Twitter exploded. The hashtag #micropenis trended on Aug. 29, following a press conference where screenwriters Alice Urciolo and Ludovico Bessegato recounted the "unreferenced, new and exciting" process that led to the selection of the topic for the character's storyline, which has never before been covered in a TV series, especially in Italy. As users compare the depth of topics of the other sister series such as disability for Skam France and mental health for Skam Druck and complain why Skam 5 Italy will be just "a c*ck series," we understand without spoilers why perhaps a conversation about standard size and fear of not being applied enough to the male world is just what we needed, even if many are afraid to admit it because it is considered unmanly.  

In the series Elia fails to have a steady relationship, is seen as the latin lover of the day and especially considered a latent homosexual by his friends, but his truth, the one addressed in season five, takes the cultural conversation of the series to a different and fundamental level of depth in the sphere of male body discourse. "Size matters" is a phrase that is used in many contexts to wink at the importance of male member size even by women, the same whose made battles for not being reduced by their bra or jeans size famous. Considering the search for confirmation of female preference for larger male members by scientific studies, in today's Western reality inches might unfortunately likely to represent a man's worth. Coupled with the expectations generated by the world of porn, which draws women as objects of pleasure and men as dominant predators with adonis-like features, not having a penis of a size considered standard can lead to suffering from psychological issues that can become depressive traits. A study on women's actual size preference points out that out of a sample of 200 men, 68.3 percent show concern about the size of their penis, and tend to experience anxious and dissatisfied conditions regarding the female and social expectations that exist about their penis: "I will be alone and without a partner" and "I will be laughed at by a partner in a sexual situation" just the most frequent phrases of the sample respondents.

Always associated with denoting virility, penis size is the object of mockery and especially comparison in male circles more than one would like to admit and represents a symbol of male power. In classical culture, the representation of the masculine ideal identified the small penis as one of the main virtues of the ideal masculinity of athletes and gods, capable of restraining animal instincts and being rational, while large genitals identified evil and lust, becoming a cult object for 18th-century erotic literature, from which current porn culture later flourished. The definition of the main goal of sexual activity, pleasure, required normative, hence large, physical prowess to associate with male-dominant abilities to satisfy multiple sex mates. This gave rise to the concept of masculinity with toxic traits, which makes it still essential to talk about issues such as penis size even in an extreme way, starting with the condition of hypoplasia, to shed light on the standards of beauty to which today's male aesthetics are subjected. From the study reviewed above, it appears that penis size and a low tone of voice are characteristics associated with higher levels of testosterone, making a man more masculine and preferable for "short-term" relationships. The same source, however, states that the way women determine the size of a penis varies depending on the direction of light in the images used in the tests and can vary every 10 minutes, clarifying that female judgment is not to be taken as universal and that the variables that identify a partner for a long-term relationship are predominantly intelligence.

The subject matter covered by Skam Italia 5 is under-reported because it is uncomfortable; it can shed light on the standards of beauty to which today's male aesthetics are subjected and thus necessary to dismantle the stigma revolving around male insecurity. Reflecting on these issues can be a cue to recognize and understand more deeply issues such as toxic masculinity and approach the world of Gen Z in which fluidity and emotions finally take the place they deserve even in the male world.