How Grooming is Redefining Masculinity and Introducing Men to Self-Care

by | Jun 27, 2023 | BEAUTY | 0 comments

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In an effort to promote awareness of men’s health issues and mental health, Philips Norelco announced a partnership with Movember in October.

Movember has supported more than 1,250 men’s health initiatives worldwide since its founding in 2003, and this year it has partnered with Philips Norelco to expand the dialogue. Additionally, the grooming company has pledged a gift of up to $550,000, which includes more than 850 Philips Norelco shavers and money for Movember to expand its initiatives for men’s health.

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“I think it’s a huge part of the Movember campaign to make it normal for men to prioritise their own health and wellness, and that includes mental health,” said Dr. Jake Taylor, chief resident in urology at NYU Langone and a partner with Philips Norelco.

In addition to his continuing series of Instagram Live discussions with experts on different facets of men’s health, Taylor is now producing material for Philips. “I think definitely with the explosion of social media, a lot of men feel more comfortable speaking about health in general and can speak to more effects on mental health,” he stated. Men are more willing to talk freely about their worries because of the epidemic, which exacerbated anxiety in 75% of them.

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That mentality contrasts sharply with earlier times and generations when acknowledging anxiety and mental health problems wasn’t as widespread or accepted. In the last 10 to 20 years, according to Taylor, there has been a significant change in how males talk about their physical and mental health. With Philips, they want to encourage guys to “dig deeper on what’s beneath the surface,” rather than merely growing facial hair, he added. After shaving in the mirror, he thinks the mental and physical check-ins may begin.

After selecting the Philips One Blade, “they can go to the mirror and after shaving do an assessment and check in on themselves,” said Taylor. “I often say that a healthy life is a happy life, and we’re trying to help men realise there is no reason they don’t deserve to feel healthy, too.”

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Skincare is increasingly popular among guys and is frequently seen as a stepping stone to self-care.

According to estimates from Allied Market Research and Research and Markets, the global market for men’s personal care would produce sales of $166 billion by 2022 and $81.2 billion by 2024, respectively.

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Men initially get interested in skin care to treat acne and learn how to shave, but this is more out of need than for mental well-being.

Barbershops and grooming businesses like Dollar Shave Club, Harry’s, and Frank’s Chop Shop, among others, have grown in popularity over the past ten years. Despite industry leaders like Kiehl’s, Malin & Goetz, and Aesop rapidly developing their skin care operations, the emphasis remained on facial hair and hairstyle. Despite having more alternatives today, men used to use items that belonged to their partners, which helped make unisex skincare and scents more common.

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Men’s nail paint and cosmetics became more popular last year, and stars like Harry Styles and Evan Mock, as well as fashion designers like Virgil Abloh, were fans. Launching with nail polish in May 2021, the contemporary grooming brand Faculty received $3 million in seed investment from Esteé Lauder Cos. Inc.

According to Bloomberg Second Measure, men’s subscription-based grooming companies like Harry’s Bevel, Dollar Shave Club, Gillette on Demand, and The Beard Club saw a higher percentage of new customers in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019 and 2021. Additionally, Bevel and The Beard Club’s average quarterly sales in the third quarter of 2021 exceeded $70 per person, demonstrating how much men are willing to spend on their grooming and skin care products.

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More than half of men between the ages of 18 and 65 practise self-care through “healthy cooking, mindfulness, fitness, and spa,” with younger respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 practising self-care more frequently than the older respondents. The survey was conducted by Miraval Group in collaboration with Study Logic LLC. With the exception of fitness, these behaviours were historically frowned upon as being unmasculine.

Real persons and fictional characters with arrogant attitudes that demonstrate heroic deeds by being brave and suppressing weakness have reflected traditional male values. These standards were once goals to aspire to, but they come with problems like aggressive behaviour and angry outbursts, and at their worst, substance abuse to cope with stress and worry. The term “toxic masculinity,” which refers to situations when conventional masculine standards restrict the emotions that men and boys can express, was also made possible by this.

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recommendations for psychological practice with boys and men were published by the American Psychological Association in 2018. These recommendations highlighted that there are several types of masculinity, with the most conventional masculinity ideas being tied to stigmas against mental health. Additionally, they claim that boys and men are not given the support they require and that boys are taught “from an early age to be self-reliant…and to minimise and manage their problems on their own.” This raises the question of how men are caring for themselves and what grooming and skin care companies are doing to address this.

Maapilim makes natural, high-end men’s grooming products.

Maapilim, a Tel Aviv-based skincare brand established in 2015, was inspired by the art piece “Flowers Are Manly,” which highlighted the diversity of masculinity. The firm was started by the founders, Doron Baduach and Jonathan Keren, who manufactured the oils to sell to pay for their art exhibition. The brand was originally intended to serve the men’s grooming market, but it has subsequently become gender-neutral.

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We want to encourage guys to enjoy slow times in their life, added Keren. “Honestly, when I first started, I had just become obsessed with essential oils, but when we saw we were selling products, we felt like there was something lacking in the men’s space.”

People understand that if they want to achieve great things, they have to take care of themselves. Skincare is great for that and beauty in general because you spend time with yourself and your thinking. Keren hopes to inspire more dialogue among men about skincare regimens. He believes that work needs to be done for men to be less emotionally rigid and believes this can be achieved by complimenting another’s skin and openly discussing regimens.

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The company has emerged as an advocate for fatherhood and has promoted paternity leave as a topic of discourse. Employees are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Only 60% of U.S. employees fulfil the requirements for protection under the FMLA, according to a report by the Boston College Centre for Work and Family, and many employees cannot afford to take unpaid time off.

Stepanian stated, “We’ve always been devoted to challenging stereotypes. In terms of paternity leave, “we started to move from talking about the issues to taking action in 2018.” She also thinks that skincare may serve as a starting point for self-care and influence the way that men talk about masculinity. “It should, and it does,” she asserted. “We support engaging in self-care.”

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Harry’s is utilising a similar strategy for their marketing by emphasising the mental wellness of males. When common men’s grooming and personal care advertising made references to utilising their products to boost sex attractiveness and attraction, the firm was created in 2013. Those advertisements, according to Maggie Hureau, Harry’s head of social impact and a 15-year veteran of charitable work, didn’t hit home with males.

Hureau remarked, “There are so many more companies looking for their voice, and we took the chance to meet customers where they are. “We chose social impact work because we wanted to be sure we were improving mental health programming, not merely launching an awareness campaign. Although it’s a serious problem, we intended to contribute considerably to programmes.

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For its social objective, Harry’s has consistently set aside 1 per cent of revenues. Harry’s has most recently donated $6 million to charity partners A Call to Men, Crisis Text Line, The Trevor Project, Headstrong, Stop Soldier Suicide, Beam, Black Men Heal, and The Steve Fund, reaching 850,000 men in total.

In addition to introducing skincare this year, Harry’s also launched The Open Minds Initiative, a hunt for the next great idea that might improve mental health in the United States. The firm will provide a nonprofit organisation with $5 million over the course of the next three years to implement the concept. Hureau said that fewer than 5% of charitable donations go towards mental health initiatives.

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“We deeply care about fostering real change around mental health, whether that takes the form of changing how masculinity is discussed, self-care, therapy, or training,” the speaker stated. “It’s difficult to discuss masculinity without equating it with good or bad, and I don’t believe they are either. Working with our partners is teaching us that everyone has a very distinct idea of what masculinity looks like. Expanding the definition will only be beneficial. Customers, in my opinion, are becoming much more demanding and want businesses to have value.

Wizdom Powell, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and head of UConn Health’s health disparities programme, said: “I do think that norms are altering, as is the evolution of our understanding of how masculinities are performed. “I have been pleading with everyone to stop using the phrase toxic masculinity. I really wanted to bring up the possibility that by using this word, males can unintentionally be told that they are poisonous or broken beyond repair. The problem with that is when young men and boys are exposed to those messages at delicate developmental phases like emerging adulthood when self-esteem is starting to take centre stage. The messages that were internalised at that time may have lasting effects on how young men and boys view themselves.

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Dove Men+Care hired Powell as an advisor for her study on the mental health of men and boys in underserved communities. Because of her knowledge of military mental health, President Barack Obama chose her to serve as a White House Fellow to Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta in 2011 and 2012. She has published papers in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry and the American Journal of Public Health, among other journals.

Regarding the Dove guys+Care campaign, she remarked, “We are encouraging men to take time to care.” “We are aware that children do better when their dads are involved from a young age. They gain from dads’ presence and are more emotionally secure as a result. Less than 40% of workers have access to family and medical leave, and when males take paternity leave, they either feel or experience criticism.

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After losing her maternal grandpa to cancer that may have been avoided in part because of his challenges with unmet behavioural health requirements, Powell claimed she felt “called” to her line of work. She claimed that more than 40 years later, the loss continues to affect her family.

Men who feel that they shouldn’t disclose their worries to others tend to experience depression more severely and are less likely to seek therapy, obtain mental health tests, and complete treatment, according to the researcher. It is impossible to overstate the influence of working with a brand and the opportunity to spread these messages about self-care.

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A system was developed by Josh LeVine and Oli Walsh with the goal of assisting guys in being their best selves. In order to better themselves and others around them, the founders of the brand wanted to encourage men to slow down, check in with their peers and themselves, and take better care of their bodies and minds.

Fortunately, in the last 20 years, there has been a significant evolution in what is considered to be masculine, according to Walsh. It is wonderful to see how lately the mainstream media has contributed to this paradigm change. Undoubtedly, this topic’s main discussion starter is skin care.

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A system debuted with a twice-daily cleanser, moisturiser, rebuilding cream, and a 30-day supply of nutrients. Since then, it has grown.

Men incorporating wellness-related elements into their daily life is “becoming more and more normalised,” according to Walsh. Speaking openly about my friends, I’ve seen that their desire to take care of themselves is becoming a more significant key feature in their life.

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Products made by A system and a promotional picture. LICENCED PHOTO

Along with Normalife, Fabric, Disco, and Kelsen, Asystem is one of five men’s and unisex skin care companies that launched in 2019 within months of one another. These companies are redefining masculinity by promoting skincare routines and eschewing masculinity norms that have been shown to be harmful to men’s mental and physical health.

But in light of the growing popularity of the self-care debate, are grooming and skin care firms required to address masculinity? “I don’t think they can just be a product company,” Keren stated. You must have a plan of action. You must discuss a topic that interests you. You should include it if you think it’s vital so that your users understand what you’re trying to say.

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According to Hureau, “I think overall customers are demanding a lot more and want brands to care about and stand for something.”

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