Is This the Best A Man Can Get? Exploring #HEALTHYMANHOOD


When it comes to men's health and issues, we tend to take a backseat compared to our female counterparts. With that in mind, I've decided to explore some issues plaguing men and our manhood. 

Vanache, Weare8 photo by Theik Smith

(Vanache, WeAre8 photo by Theik Smith)

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(Gillette Ad - "Is This the Best a Man Can Get) 

Modern Day Masculinity

Turn on the television and you're bound to find a slew of hot button gender issues centered around the reformation of men in society. Earlier this year, Gillette published an ad which poses the question, "Is This The Best a Men Can Get?". Some applauded Gillette's message against, so-called Toxic Masculinity; while others criticized the company for attacking the traditional idea  of masculinity.

Customers even took to social media; posting images and videos of them throwing away their Gillette products under the hashtag, #BoycottGillette. In response, Gillette told NBC NEWS, " If we get people to pause, reflect, challenge themselves and others to ensure that their actions reflect who they really are, then this campaign will be a success." 

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Here are Some Popular Responses on Twitter: 

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Vanache, Weare8 photo by Theik Smith (Me at WeAre8 studios photo by Theik Smith

Breaking the Manhood Mold

I took to the internet to find an inkling of hope for the male gender.  My search revealed an interesting organization called, A Call to Men. According to the website, "A Call To Men is a violence prevention organization and respected leader on issues of manhood and male socialization. 

This past Father's Day, A Call To Men launched the #HealthyManhood Campaign, where actors, activists, and athletes all voiced what #HealthyManhood means to them. 

Here are Some Examples: 

( A Call to Men #HealthyManHood Video, Courtesy of A CALL TO MEN) 

 

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Understanding Men Through the Divine Masculine

New age teachings assert that there are many invisible energies and elements that shape the experiences we live. Some of these energies are the Divine Masculine and Feminine. Now I'm not going to go over the Divine Feminine, but I will go over some key points about the Divine Masculine to think about. 

Top Traits of the Divine Masculine: 

1. Power - In his truest form, the divine masculine utilizes his power ultimately for the good of all, not himself. He uses this power to stand up for himself and fight for whats right. He doesn't take advantage, nor want to be worshiped for it. He is very protective of what's in his heart, and if you threaten him or those he loves, he will move heaven and earth t remove you.

2. Focus - When he knows what he wants and where he wants to go, nothing will get in his way. The divine masculine has a considerable ability to block out everything except his goal. Some call it tunnel-vision. 

3. Determination - Once he has tunnel-vision, his aptitude for rock solid determination gets into action. With determination, the divine man will never fall and stay down. He will always keep going until he's met his goal. 

4. Resilience - His ability to take a beating and keep going can't be emphasized enough. The divine man is the ultimate marathon runner. He will weather storm after storm, and still recover from obstacles and setbacks. 

5. Logical - The Masculine Energy is left brained, making him the best suited for calculating and reasoning. This is really helpful when navigating life and figuring out mysteries. 

6. Strength - Not only are men physically stronger than women, but there is a notable strength in stamina that the divine masculine contains within his spirit. This strength is what the Divine Masculine uses to overcome no matter the obstacle. 

7. Outwardly Directed - The divine Masculine is an expansive energy. He is always trying to improve and enlarge himself and cover more area. 

8. High Priest - According to the Bible, God imbued man with his essence, spark or light. This energy is what compels men to always search for a higher truth and discover his divine origin. I think this spark is what makes men lean toward being morally upright and righteous. 

 

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Vanache, Weare8 photo by Theik Smith

(Me at WeAre8 studios photo by Theik Smith

What does #HealthyManhood mean to me?

 

So I've decided to make my pledge to having a #HealthyManhood. I feel if there is anyway to make a positive difference in the lives of men, I'll have to start with myself. Here's a starter list of principles I've come up with to begin my journey in becoming a better man. I intend to personalize this list as time goes on, but for now this list serves as a guide. 

 

#HEALTHYMANHOOD means being intuitive to self, environment and others in that environment.

#HEALTHYMANHOOD is having a quiet confidence in oneself and abilities. 

#HEALTHYMANHOOD means being steadfast and reliable for yourself and the ones who count on you the most.

#HEALTHYMANHOOD is having a virtuous cause to stand for. 

#HEALTHYMANHOOD is practiced self-honesty and integrity. 

#HEALTHYMANHOOD means being able to address obstacles with a calm, level headed approach. 

#HEALTHYMANHOOD is knowing how to cook. 

#HEALTHYMANHOOD means guiding the youth and educating your peers. 

#HEALTHYMANHOOD means a connection with a higher power. 


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Conclusion

As a man in today's society, our health and  other topics tend to take a back seat to women's issues. I grew up in a single parent household as a minority, first generation born foreigner, and free thinker to say the least. I know the dangers and obstacles that accompany men who live in this kind of scenarios. The least I could do, is bring more understanding to the conversation about men. 

I can't speak for all men, but I will say we're fairly simple creatures. We just want to have home in good order, our groups in good spirits, and our personal lives in a good direction. Anything else is just a challenge we decide to face or sidestep. 

With that said, I'd like to encourage my male friends, family and savvy members to look after themselves – it’s only in our best interest. 

 

Join the Converstion:

What do you think about Modern Masculinity and what are you doing to change the dynamic of how men are viewed? I'd love to hear some feedback on this topic, so share, comment and sign up for my newsletter. Together, we can accomplish anything, so let's reach for the universe. 

 

References & Other Readings

I AM MY SOUL - https://www.iammysoul.com/blog/the-traits-and-the-qualities-of-the-divine-masculine

Guidelines Psychological Practice with Boys and Men  - chrome-extension://gphandlahdpffmccakmbngmbjnjiiahp/https://www.apa.org/about/policy/boys-men-practice-guidelines.pdf

The Art of Charm - https://theartofcharm.com/finding-your-purpose/the-crisis-of-masculinity/

Mental Health America - https://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/infographic-mental-health-men

The Good Men Project - https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/talk-men-top-10-issues-today-gmp/

Harvard Medical School - https://www.health.harvard.edu/topics/mens-health

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