As a child, I am sure your elders constantly told you how 'unique and special' you were. For those who told you this, it was their way of making you feel confident.

Even though you aren't a child anymore, I am sure, at times, it would still feel good to be told a similar sentiment. While being called unique and special could be considered a cliche, it has some truth. In actuality, none of us are the same. Therefore, we are special. The interests, traits, and personality characteristics that define us are what make us unique from others.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, "no two men are absolutely alike, not even twins, yet there is much that is indispensably common to all mankind." Gandhi was right. Along with 'who we are,' we also all have different beliefs, yearnings, hopes, and dreams. Add all these 'ingredients' together, and there is one unique individual.  

Being unique is something that we should all strive to embrace about ourselves. After all, we are 1 of 1, with no copies or fakes. While it is one thing to decide to embrace your uniqueness, it is another thing to feel comfortable doing so. This is why the representation of all types of people is essential.

People can feel represented by seeing people they relate to on a television series. Strong representation is important because it impacts how others see people and how they feel and see themselves. With the lack of representation, it becomes challenging for people to build up the confidence to be uniquely themselves, in fear that they will be rejected or looked down upon.

One television series that does its job in encouraging people to be themselves is the Apple TV Plus hit Ted Lasso.

Few shows out today have reached as much success in little time as Ted Lasso. The show's totaled 11 Emmys in only two seasons, with 40 nominations. While Ted Lasso has reached levels that most television series can only dream of reaching, the most impressive thing about the series is how it makes viewers feel.

Ted Lasso shows viewers how a lot of the characters are unique. One way that the characters in Ted Lasso are unique is through the male characters. They're unique from male characters in other shows, particularly in their strengths. As shown through television and cinema of the past, societal norms for men are of very masculine and strong people. While the characters show strength, their strength is shown in the form of emotional over physical.

Below are a few examples of characters from Ted Lasso and what they tell us about masculinity.

Roy Kent

At first, Roy Kent is introduced to the audience as the serious and unpredictable captain of the AFC Richmond Greyhounds. As the show progresses, Roy becomes a more complex character.

The most surprising thing about Roy is that he is willing to be seen as not so serious after all. This side of Roy is shown through his relationship with his niece Phoebe. While with his niece, Roy lets go of the person he is on the soccer pitch to make Phoebe happy. This includes doing the things that a young girl enjoys, such as playing 'dress up' and 'tea party.'

The lesson learned through Roy Kent is that it's okay to let go of the person you 'think you should be' for the benefit of the ones you love.

Ted Lasso

The main character of the series and the head coach of AFC Richmond, Ted Lasso, comes across as the nicest guy in the room. The more we learn about Ted, the more we see how complex his past is.

When first approached with the idea of going to therapy, Ted is skeptical. He sees therapy as an acceptance of weakness. His therapist, Dr. Sharon, reframes Ted's opinion of therapy. Ted learns to be vulnerable and open up about his history of panic attacks rather than be embarrassed, which he was when the public first found out about them

The character of Ted Lasso teaches us that to begin to move through our past, we sometimes need to have the courage to confront the things holding us back.

Nate Shelley

The character Nate is the unhealthiest example of how to handle your emotions. Nate is used to coming up short in life. He starts as the bullied team equipment manager with no confidence. Over time, Nates' confidence begins to develop, but primarily through belittling other people. Unfortunately, Nate is in a position where he is so used to seeing himself as being beneath everyone else that to see himself in a better light, he has to bring other people down to prove he is 'better than them.'

The character of Nate is a lesson in how 'not to fact.' If Nate learned to look at his strengths rather than his weaknesses, he would not always feel like he is in a position where he must constantly prove his worth.

Ted Lasso is a social commentary on self-acceptance. By accepting the person we are, and our uniqueness, we are truly unleashing our potential.

Ted Lasso Season 3 is now streaming on Apple TV Plus.

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