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Our project started as the Warwick Rowers Calendar in 2009. Sportsmen from one rowing team at one university in the UK stripped naked to challenge homophobia in male sport.
Male nudity became our established medium, and it brought us attention around the world. Our message gradually evolved as we explored the role of men in wider issues of misogyny and inequality. We began to recognise that this was not just a problem for people who had been excluded from power. We saw the impact of outdated thinking on male mental health.
Ten years later, in 2019, we became the Worldwide Roar so that men from any sport and anywhere in the world could join our campaign for healthier masculinity.
After a year of intensive strategic development with the support of allies across many sectors including sport, academia, culture and politics, we are ready to begin the next stage of our journey as Barefoot Man.
Barefoot Man is a name that reflects another step change in our goals. The concept of the carbon footprint has been a popular way to understand our personal responsibility towards the planet for over twenty years.
The footprint has provided many people with a useful metaphor in the face of an almost incomprehensible challenge. It helps us all to take personal ownership of a problem that we know we cannot solve alone.
Barefoot Man promotes the concept of the social footprint as an equally personal obligation that can help all of us, and particularly in our case men, to look at our impact on society and to consider the legacy that we want to create.