It’s funny, as a teen, I kept hoping to be the epitome of manliness, I would not even begin to consider the colour pink, hated the notion of having to do anything that could have been a challenge to my masculinity.
Yet today, like most days, I spent my time painting my daughters nails, having mine painted in return, looking at bath salts and soaps with them, and looking at some jewellery that would match their clothes and nails, as they put it.
My phone has a pink cover, and I am actually a little bit frustrated that Samsung didn’t have my phone in pink when I got it, but they do so now. My views on masculinity have drastically changed, to the point that thirteen year old me would be wondering just what the hell was wrong with me.
Masculinity and it’s definition is something that has plagued men for decades. With the welcome movement into gender equality in all aspects of life, some men struggle and consider themselves emasculated/ I think they are merely skewing things out of perspective.
The man of today shouldn’t be concerned by the views of a time gone by, in the eyes of my children, I am the epitome of what a man should be like. As their father, they will look to me as an example for how they should be treated in relationships, and even as to what they can and can’t do from a gender perspective.
It is for this very reason that I ensure that my children do not focus on what is for boys and what is for girls, when it comes to things they enjoy, and when it comes to toys. My son and daughters see me painting their nails, painting my own, wearing pink, using a lot of care products, fruit teas, and fragrant soaps.
In the eyes of some men, my masculinity would be called into question. In my own eyes, my masculinity is never in doubt. It has nothing to do with my comfort in using beauty products, or with societal views on masculinity. The way I define masculinity is simple, I am comfortable in my role as a man, and as a father, I am comfortable in being able to share, for lack of a better phrase, girly time (as my daughters put it) with my daughters, and being able to have a kick about with my son.
I am comfortable in being able to enjoy shopping for beauty products, fragrant soaps and fruit teas with my daughters. My masculinity during this is never in question. Being a man has nothing to do with how butch you are, but how comfortable you are in your own skin. I’m a man who enjoys and writes poetry, likes the colour pink, has an eye for make up, loves scented soaps, and finds a mango tea a perfect way to relax.
We spend far too much time in our lives, living up to antiquated views and perceptions of what our roles within society and within our genders should be. Instead of focusing upon this, we should be focusing upon the important things in life, our children, our families, and being comfortable within our own skins.
This is the best way to ensure that our children grow up being confident, well rounded adults, comfortable in their own skins, and able to accept the differences between culture, gender, sexuality and race. After all at the end of the day, while our differences may be many, we are all the same in one very obvious manner, something that we should all be more perceptive about. After all, we all came into the world the same way, we will all return to the dust, we are all, human.
Until next time,