Men should take care of their bodies too
As I take a look around and observe the fashionable individuals, I am noticing that the overall image of the man has had a major metamorphosis.
I remember as a child growing up in the '90s, there was a clear distinction when it comes to customs and norms that were specifically designed for men - from fashion to actions. Even the lyrics and style of dancehall artistes have changed dramatically since then.
Now, don't get me wrong. As an advocate for personal choice, I am not here to make any judgements, I am simply making some observations in my society. I would be a big hypocrite to act as if I am not enjoying some of the changes that have occurred. I also think that some of them are great improvements.
Some of the adjustments definitely challenge the stereotypical image of the 'real' man.
Let's examine some of them:
In the '90s, men wore oversized shirts and baggy pants. Biggy was the popular designer of dancehall and certain colours (like coral and pink) were simply off limits. Men's fashion today has definitely evolved and much has changed, from the inclusion of a rainbow of colours and prints to a much closer fit. Scare Dem Crew's Bad Man Nuh Dress Like Girl is funny now when you see men actually wearing very feminine-cut blouses and even jackets in the dancehall. I've personally seen a popular dancer step out in what looked like his mother's floral church hat. I guess it really is 'fashion ova style.'
For a very long time, getting braces was reserved for the children of the wealthy, but men have decided to take advantage of the flexible payment plans and accessibility. I am very happy that getting dental work done is a trend, because I definitely appreciate a man with nice teeth. Quite a few men have opted to get braces installed and I have no complaints.
Once upon a time, men just concentrate on getting rich. So when the gut arrives with the weight gain, they never made any effort, because they can always get the women they want with their money. Well, I am happy to report that they are getting in shape. Men are running 5K races, hitting the gym, and really making an effort to live a healthier lifestyle. In addition to looking really good, this trend has countless other health benefits.
Another change I am happy about is the fact that men are actually taking better care of their skin. Beauty companies are making products so they can keep their beard groomed, control the ingrown hairs, and help their skin look healthy and smooth. I remember songs that used to have lyrics like, "bad man don't lotion," which I never liked because I definitely appreciate nice skin, too. And to add icing on the cake, men are also buying expensive colognes and smell much better! Yes please! I approve.
Okay, this one is tricky. Men are frequenting salons to get a myriad of services - from facials to pedicure and everything in between, including waxing. There are some who believe that men going to the salon for any reason is a no-no, because they think it undermines masculinity. Personally, I think any effort to improve one's self is a good thing. The level of improvement will obviously be dependent on the individual.
Masculinity, for the symbol of strength that it represents, seems to be very fragile and there are still a few rules that men try to adhere to. Personally, I don't think that wearing pink, or going to the salon or even using lotion should affect anyone's manhood, but maybe that's just me. There are some who believe that there's only one way to express manhood - strong, rough, no frills, no excessive grooming, cologne, and definitely no lotion. Ultimately, individuals will find their own way to express themselves, including men; and living in the dynamic environment of the 21st century, the possibilities are endless. So, be the man you want to be and live your truth.