There is no doubt that women are much better at self-care than men. This website is for my people, so let’s drop the professional pretenses. Black Women are better at self-care than black men. How did we get there? It’s no doubt in my mind that self-love is taught. Beautiful Young Princesses across the globe are showered with lessons [provoked by media] on what it means to be a woman. So much so that a black princess often replaces her tiara with a sickening crown- her hair. Taking back the power of the natural-haired mammy that was used to mark our women as unworthy of love. Let’s not get into make-up, lashes, and nails because the aesthetic alone is why y’all stay winning! It’s the complete package for me… I applaud everything about it, I would be remised if I didn’t mention that natural black women are worth every bit of this love and praise. Years of perfecting an image of beauty. Often to please men who can’t express love.
Let’s fast forward to the present… He’s a F*ck-boy. I told y’all, let’s drop the pretenses. How did he get there? We often overlook the lack of attention we give to young men and their self-care. In most cases, we are seen as the producer and not the product. Images of a muscular black buck on the auction block flashed before my eyes. Yet, a product comes from this “Be a man, stop crying” rhetoric. It’s one devoid of emotions and empathy. Of course, this is not a one-size shoe that fits all for all black men, but how do you love yourself if you aren’t taught? I know some of you will blast me on my opinion, but remember, everyone doesn’t think like you or me. But there has to be something wrong! Our women are screaming for help. Screaming for love. How does one give that love when it’s beat into young black men showing an ounce of concern for their appearance as young men are met with gay tropes. I was 27 until my first massage. It took me even longer to not care about what people thought if I got my nail did.
Black boys deserve the same love as young black girls! It’s killing us not to have it. We are less likely to seek professional help if we need it. We are more likely to suffer in silence out of trauma. We are not weak. Even though a young man suffers in silence now, he is not weak for having feelings and emotions. We traumatize our own out of fear. Fear that is rightfully justified. However, we must do better at creating a safe space for black males that don’t perpetuate a notion of self-care as a man is weak. Young women are taught to listen to their bodies, while young men are forced to ignore the part screaming that something is wrong.
The point of this think-piece is not to speak on sexuality. No matter whom we sleep with, Black Men are worthy of loving and knowing how to accept that love. If not, we develop F*ck-boys who can’t understand how their actions hurt people. F*ck-boys WHO ARE DOING WHAT THEY NEED TO DO TO SURVIVE. It’s the only way they know how to mentally. Clinging on to a past, they condemned their need to learn how to love themselves and a present that tells them they need to be more emotionally available. We can’t have it both ways. BLACK BOYS DESERVE A VERSION OF LOVE THAT ISN’T TOXIC. Hug them. Tell them they are BEAUTIFUL! Handsome perpetuates hyper-masculinity that continues to kill us. They are beautiful inside and out!
To the young boy struggling with understanding who you are…Sexuality does not define you. YOU, YES, YOU! You are a work of art. Today might be challenging, but it never rains forever. You are not weak for having feelings. Those feelings do not make you less of a man. You will define what your definition of manhood means later in life. Today, I want you to know that your beauty should not be masked by adults who have never learned to love themselves. You are great, just as you are. Please, if you are struggling, do not hold it in. Seek help! Self-care is more than a haircut every two weeks. It’s more than a fresh pair of shoes. Self-care is expressing when you are hurting without fear of being looked at as weak. You are not WEAK. You are stronger than everyone around you. Never let anyone tell you that speaking your truth is crying or being less than a man! We can express more than anger.
Empathy is learned. You will learn to love yourself and others through loving other people. Perfecting a version of love that will make you perfect for your family in the future. Keep loving black men. Keep striving. I SEE YOU.