It’s actually difficult to practice real self-care nowadays when the internet is booming with filters and makeups.
While the whole world is hit by male-domination society, there’s something where women dominate the culture, and that’s self-care.
It’s an area where men face countless gender-based stigmas and barriers to entry.
When it comes to self-care, a lot of men think it’s about going to salons, waxing their eyebrows and stuffs.
Most men assume that if they take time for self-care, they’ll eventually lose their productivity and time.
Frankly speaking, they even think that taking self-care completely goes against their masculinity.
Our society is still far away from de-stigmatizing the types of self-care for men that matters most.
However, in this past few years’ people have slowly started to eliminate this stereotype from the society.
World is showing a huge cultural shift around what’s considered acceptable and what’s not.
People are starting to understand that self-care is not just the matter of showing outer beauty.
Self-care it about keeping your body healthy and mind cheerful as well.
This is hugely shifting the philosophies of masculinity into a new direction and is giving power to men to free from the societal limitations.
One of the biggest challenge for men in the self-care industry is the lack of entry, like I said earlier.
Applying products on their body and skin according to society is what women are made for not men.
Women are lucky to have all sorts of avenues to learn and hear about products that work for them.
From going to salons, receiving massage, watching beauty blogs, to reading magazines, they can do it all.
Eventually doing these sort of stuffs does question masculinity of a men.
Likely, Co-founder of Hawthorne, one of the most innovative startups of making the personal grooming side of self-care for men, Brian Jeong, considers his company a doorway for those left out men.
He said, “Men don’t have those conversations. They’re not like, bro, you smell great. What skincare products do you use?”
However, Hawthorne found that much like women, men also spend time on researching about self-care.
The fact is that, they just do it solely online because there’s no other spaces or social structures designed for their participation in self-care industry.
So, aside from providing high quality products, Hawthorne allows men discover what self-care means to them as individuals.
Market these days are hugely influencing men to break the stereotype of self-care.
We can see the drastic difference in the market of beauty and skin care products from past and now.
Since past few years, companies have been evidently focusing on approaching to personal grooming and well-being for men.
For instance, Axe, in the past criticized for contributing to toxic masculine advertising, launched a campaign in 2017 naming “Is It Ok For Guys”.
Commercials usually frame women taking time for bubble baths is the name of self-care.
These kinds of advertisement have hugely contributed to men on thinking that’s actually what self-care is.
But, the campaign clearly questioned these negative stigmas and tried to address that’s self-care isn’t about those things.
Similarly, Dove has been pushing a personal care line for men since 2010 with advertising expanding to focus on involved father figures.
It’s not just brand presenting a new perspective of self-care or skin care for men.
Singer and Rapper Kid Cudi has been openly speaking about wrestling with depression and drug addiction.
Also, actor and activist Terry Crews has opened up about his emotional trauma as a victim of sexual assault.
These kinds of gateways allow men to question and have conversation about what it means to be a real man in modern times and taking self-care.
Just like gender equality, normalizing self-care for both men and women is also equally essential for a better society.
It’s doesn’t only help men feel better about themselves, but also makes people realize the importance of embedding self-care into all our social structures.
The more men are able to prioritize of their self-care, the more they’ll be able to have a happy and healthier personal and professional life.
When we begin to dismantle the barriers to let people just be themselves, the world seems much better place to live.
So, we should remove all these typecasts from the society and let men be what they want to be just like we try to do when it comes to gender equality.