The Lack of Self-Care & Awareness
Men aren’t taking care of themselves as much as they should be, and this is a problem.
The added pressure placed on men to portray excessive masculinity and be ‘tough’ at all times sadly stems from how a lot of parents/added societal pressure expect young boys to behave.
From a generally speaking standpoint, the majority of young boys are instructed not to cry or show any form of emotion and that being in touch with one’s emotions is considered weak and unmanly. They are told that being a man is liking the color blue and participating in activities that allow one to showcase their ‘manly’ talents, such as athleticism.
How does this impact men?
This conditioning at an early age lends to that boy’s mindset as he gets older. The notion that crying and showcasing basic human emotions is not ‘normal’ or tough is extremely detrimental to a young boys’ psyche. It is often a hindrance on them when they become adults. Because of what was told to them repeatedly when they were young, it is difficult for many men to properly address and handle their emotions, and to take care of themselves both mentally and physically (the two often go hand-in-hand). They’ve literally been taught from childhood that addressing emotions and admitting to them is a sign of being weak and allegedly ‘less of a man’.
As adults, men are more focused on maintaining that hyper-masculine persona than being honest and open with themselves, others, and the status of their overall health. Rather than focusing on the importance of their health or recognizing a change in their physical appearance, they are honing in on how tough or weak they come across and how to avoid that. This is an obvious detriment due to them not feeling it’s okay to be human. Often times, this refusal to address emotions/physical ailments in an honest way can cause various health/emotional issues. The focus is put so much on the public’s opinion of them that their health starts to suffer/decline. The majority of men suffering from this blatant, detrimental conditioning would rather allow their health to deteriorate while maintaining that manly presence as opposed to resolving any health issues that will probably worsen over time; this is when it may be too late.
Is there a solution?
Talking about it and bringing awareness is the first and most important step; people need to be aware that this is an issue and that men are not addressing problems, but rather they are suppressing them. Secondly, that pressure put on men to be masculine needs to lessen. They are humans, too, who reserve the right to care about what they look/feel like. They shouldn’t be made to feel as if it is bad or wrong to be aware of their bodies and minds, and if all of this is brought to the surface sooner rather than later, then hopefully a lot of these issues will be prevented and ultimately eradicated.