Real Guy Fitness

Material: Arduino & sensors, Netlab Toolkit, dumbell, projector and see-through mirror.

Media Installation
Video: 3 min

Masculinity is facing crisis in post-feminism America. For sensitive teenage boys in South California, there is a tension between the pleasure of carving out a flawless physique body type to win the anonymous gaze and the fear of being identified as “less man” figure. This project roots the “masculinity” in the ancient Chinese philosophy to reinterpret American teenage masculinity issue in the age of social media. From the perspective of Taoism mysticism on the inclusion and exclusion, the notion of “real man” (大丈夫) is not associated with aggressiveness and toughness, but a solidness with softness. The softness makes a man stronger. If social media makes them “feminine”, can social media help these sensitive male find masculinity as well?

This project sourced the skin-care personal stories on Tumblr and
used fitness routine and vocalization cues to reconstruct a masculinity based on Taoism. A “real man” (大丈夫) is born from the harmony of masculinity and femininity.


The relationship between the user and social media fits the dynamics between inclusion and exclusion based on the Taoism mysticism.
Real Guy Fitness: "You can still be a man" explored the tension between physical body image, embodied visuals, and teenage fears, within the ways youth consume social media content. Paying explicit attention to the fear of "less-man figure" and construction of teenage psychology, this project speaks to the fragility of adolescent masculinity and identity confusion in high school.






The image below shows the minium setup to bring this interactive experience to life.

The image below shows the proper prototype environment based on two key points mentioned above.