“All right, this isn’t so bad. I like the flower smell! Which is okay, because I’ve got my boat. I can actually feel my tension just melting away. I could fall asleep in here.”
This scene from Friends where Chandler agrees to take a bath drawn by Monica only because he gets a little plastic Navy ship for his boy bath is every bit real & captures everything that’s off with men indulging in a bit of care for themselves.
Self-care, a term that’s been featuring a little too frequently in this pandemic-ridden world, has largely been a space designed for women – complete with bubble baths, scented candles, face masking sessions and a lot of pink stuff. To enter the zone, a man, however, needed a gym membership, a salon appointment or in Chandler’s case, a plastic Navy boat. Well, you may call it a case of whatever gets your motor running, but men sure seem to have a lot fewer options to choose from as compared to women. And it’s not because of a lack of availability but rather a wider lack of acceptability.
What’s standing between Men & Self-Care?
Well, in true Bollywood style – it’s society (“Samaaj kya kahega!”) and that includes other men (largely the strong, muscular ones!) But move out of the reel world & into the real one to look at cultural roles, where men are expected to be caregivers and not receivers. Throw in a few more widely-accepted labels like protectors, breadwinners, providers if you may and that’s your definition of everything a man should be. And in this strong, testosterone-heavy persona, there is no space / need for self-care. Think of how many times you’ve heard men assert the following:
“I don’t need help”
“Nothing is bothering me.”
“I don’t fall sick.”
“I am not stressed, just tired.”
Call it trivializing the need for self-care or attribute it to an overblown sense of masculinity, men are practically taught to be fans of the tough love. Hence, self-care with a more ‘softer’ side to it finds natural fitment with women and if a man even ventures anywhere near there’s a flurry of volleys fired on him including “Yeh kya kar raha hai? Mard ban!”
But beneath all that bravado and strong exterior, does anyone care to think how are men coping up with all these societal expectations and the resultant pressure!
The changing reality
Our world today is in a state of flux. Changing lifestyles, different mindsets and even evolving gender roles along with an upgrade in the definition of man. Men are breaking out of these stereotypes that they’ve been subjected to for ages. And getting more comfortable in their individual choice of lifestyle, profession, hobbies, attire or even skincare. With the subtle realization that a man who takes good care of himself & his aspirations ends up taking better care of everything around. Hence, in their own way, men are starting to recognize the importance of getting the right self-care or indulging in anything else that they find joy or peace in.
No longer enough to be a man but time for Man Enough to Be
Across the history of mankind, we’ve witnessed many generational changes. And it seems we are firmly in the middle of one right now – a very important one. Men, tired of being subjected to stereotypes for ages, are increasingly confident of their individual beliefs & identities. Liberal in their thoughts & equal in their approach, they’ve recognized the importance of respecting their individuality & that of everyone else; thereby becoming Man Enough to be. Man Enough to stand for their choices & actions. Man Enough to care about what’s important. Man Enough to care about themselves.
We at Phy, believe men deserve the right care not just to feel great about themselves but to eventually care right for everything that matters. With specially crafted products that bring the right care to all men, Phy, powered by this belief, intends to celebrate the versatility in their diversity.
Phy – Made for guys who care.