Friday, June 26, 2015

PBB 737: The Psychology of Bromance: Kay Team Ryley ka ba o kay Team Kenley?

Even this early, a rivalry among PBB fans is in the making between two unlikely teams: Team Kenley and Team Ryley.

The formation of Team Kenly was inspired by a viral video compilation of the "bromantic moments” between teen housemates Kenzo Guttierez and Bailey May. 

The controversial video!

On the other hand, pictures that captured Bailey May’s seemingly “sweet glances” at Ryan Bacallas inspired the formation of Team Ryley! 

The controversial photos!

The videos and photos elicited strong reactions from the fans ranging from "super kilig!" to "nakakainggit!" to a shocked "whatduh!" to a disgusted "eeewww!" 

Of course, people know Ryan to be openly gay, but the immediate question many fans wanted answered was "Pati ba si Bailey and Kenzo, gay rin?" 

Does Kenzo and Bailey's bromance constitute gayness? And what in the first place is a bromance? 

Bromance is a combination of the words "brother" and "romance." Simply put, a bromance is a close emotional and platonic bond between two males.  In other words, it's a BFF relationship between straight males.

Examples of bromantic pairs include none other than Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, George Clooney and Brad Pitt, Spongebob and Patrick, and even Beavis and Butthead! 

Why do bromances happen? 

They happen because today's males are liberating themselves from traditional hypermasculine gender roles. Whereas before, men had to be tough, rough, and stoic, the modern male has now become more fearless in expressing his sensitive, gentler, and vulnerable side. Gender role expectations for males and females have now blurred, and it has now become the "in" thing for a man to be in touch with both his feminine and masculine sides. 

Males in a bromantic relationship are usually secure about their masculinity, and are therefore unashamed to shout out an "I love you, bro!" and really mean it!

Males develop a bromantic relationship because of their shared interests, complimentary personality traits, and familiarity with each other. 

Direk Jon Moll of PBB, a friend of mine, has observed that bromances may be more acceptable among males of the upper and middle socio-economic status than in males of the lower SES.  I kind of believe that, too!

Direk Jon Moll!

I think that males of the lower SES have a more challenging life to live and therefore have to savagely tough it out- both emotionally and physically in order to survive.  This means that in their hierarchy of values, it is more important for them to meet their basic needs for survival than to be all "touchy-and-feely" with their fellow males  

Going back to Kenzo and Bailey, both are the only male children in their respective families, and so, inside Kuya's house, they have become brothers to each other. 

While PBB viewers may be quick to romanticize or sexualize their affection for each other, we have to remember that Bailey is just a young prepubescent boy of 12 who is "malambing" and playful towards Kenzo just as much as he probably is towards his mom and dad. "Totoy" pa talaga siya despite looking older than his age.  Hence, let's allow him to be the "totoy lambing" that he is before his childhood runs out!  

The bromance of Kenzo and Bailey is neither homo-erotic (sexual in nature) nor homo-romantic (amorous in nature). Rather, it is more aptly characterized as homo-philiac. "Philia" and "phileo" are Greek words for friendship or affection, while "philadephia" is the Greek word for brotherly love. 

We also have to remember that Bailey has had experiences of being bullied (that is, being called names) by his schoolmates in the U.K. because according to Bailey, "he looked different from the others." He never had an older male peer to protect him from the bullies.

As for Kenzo, he himself was a bully in grade school, and he particularly enjoyed it when his classmates would laugh at the bullying he was doing.  "Sadista," in other words.

Perhaps now, being in Kuya's house, this is his chance to undo and make up for all the "evil" he did when he was younger.  His "astig" trait is now being shown in his protectiveness, care, and support for Bailey, just like how a "nakakatandang kapatid" should be towards his younger brother. This is Kenzo's chance to be a good role model and he is doing it quite well!

Now what about Bailey's allegedly sweet glances at Ryan? 

I think that Bailey's glances at Ryan are actually that of amusement, curiousity, and maybe even envy at how spontaneous, expressive, and fun Ryan can be. 

Hopefully, Bailey's interaction with Ryan will teach Bailey to become more non-judgmental, sensitive, and friendly towards people of diverse gender identities. 

Perhaps the essence of bromance is best captured by one proverb in the Bible. Proverbs 18:24 reminds us that "one who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother!"

Having a best friend is a gift from God. No matter how much we search, we don't get a best friend until God gives us one. Let's not forget that even Jesus found a best friend in John. 

John, tagged as "the disciple whom Jesus loved," would even lean his head on Jesus' chest as a show of his affection! (John 13:25) 

Jesus and John

Dogs are a man's best friend they say, but it still is better for man to have another human being for a best friend. So, to the bromance between Kenzo and Bailey, I can only express a resounding "Amen!"  I hope they become good friends and brothers for keeps!

 To learn more about bromance, watch this!

And here's more bromance for you!

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