My dad semi-regularly gets manicures. This is a fact that doesn’t seem strange to me, but it definitely makes the average cis-gender man recoil because it seems “girly.” They’re probably imagining my dad getting his nails painted fire engine red or something, but he literally just gets his nails cut, buffed, and moisturized, a prospect that strikes fear in the hearts of far too many men because their masculinity is so fragile that the delicate tough of a manicurist hands on theirs might just break it.
When you think about it, it’s pretty tragic, the things that men won’t do because they’re afraid that it will be seen as feminine, which is inherently seen as a bad thing. Guys who are self-conscious about their zits can’t fathom covering them up with a little concealer, dudes hesitate to take a selfie because it’s a thing that “girls do,” and platonic touching between two men is apparently only okay if it’s during a sports game. But to be honest, I think that guys would be a lot better off if they actually had the guts to embrace “girly” behavior. From emotional vulnerability to sheet masks, here are nine girly things that guys should start doing.
Getting Into SkincareIn our society, a woman's worth is too often reliant on her looks in a way that a man's worth simply isn't. An aging man is rarely mocked for saggy skin or wrinkles, but women are encouraged to hit up that botox. Nevertheless, we all have skin, and we all like to have skin that looks as good as possible, so why don't more guys invest in skincare? Is it...girly to not like blackheads? Seriously, it was refreshing to see Biebs post a photo of himself with a sheet mask, and Diddy also posted a video embracing the glory of glowing skin. If more dudes didn't think that basic facial wash and moisturizer wasn't a punch to their masculinity, this world would probably be a slightly less crappy place. Instagram
Using Makeup If They're Self Conscious About A BelmishMakeup is obviously associated with femininity, but can we stop acting as if it would have absolutely no benefit to dudes? Forget eyeshadow or lipstick, just think about how concealer can cover zits and hide dark eye circles. There are guys out there who are self-conscious about those things, but wouldn't be caught dead doing anything to cover it up because makeup is for "women." But, honestly, many women would probably be equally freaked out by a guy deciding to wear cover up. Let's all stop perpetuating the idea that makeup should be gendered; makeup is for everyone! My So-Called Life
Realizing That Beards And Other Grooming Habits Do The Same Thing Makeup DoesI saw an amazing stream of tweets recently about the fact that guys don't want to admit that beards and hairline shape ups work in very much the same way makeup does. Like contouring, beards can alter the way a face looks, accentuating cheekbones, slimming jaw lines, etc. Of course, plenty of guys with beards would be appalled if you suggested that--gasp--their beard has aesthetic purposes, not to stay warm or collect crumbs. iStock
CryingCrying is cathartic af, but while girls aren't chided for doing it, guys are told at a very early age to associate crying with a lack of manliness. Like...little boys...are told to "man up"...when they're just children. This affects them for the rest of their lives, which is why it's so rare to see guys cry it out (even though they have emotions just like the rest of it). This is also why men who do dare show some emotional vulnerability are mocked. Can we just get the hell over this BS and have a big cry-a-thon? Twin Peaks
Taking SelfiesPeople see selfies as this mindless, vain thing...so of course they associate it with girls. Sup, sexism? But, honestly, selfies are largely harmless and, for some, can be empowering. I'm not saying that every selfie is revolutionary, worthy of sparking deep pontifications; selfies don't need to be justified. But why can't more dudes just get on board with them without feeling "girly." If you like the way you look or just want to take a silly photo of yourself, why not just...do it without being afraid of gender expectations? Instagram
Getting Manicures And PedicuresMy feet get absolutely disgusting after a while--dead skin, nail gunk, rough patches--and a pedicure is a great way to get my feet looking and feeling amazing again. So why is the prospect of smooth feet a turn off for men who would never step foot in a nail salon, even if they weren't getting an iota of polish? Because they're associated with women, that's why. It's nice to see that dudes like LeBron James doesn't GAF about subscribing to gender norms, however. He even Instagram'd his trip to the nail shop! Get those feet lookin' sharp, Bron! Instagram
Getting Into Body PositivityLast year, an European company called Dressmann launched an ad campaign embracing diverse body types not often recognized in the fashion industry. This acts as a reminder that body positivity isn't just an issue for cis-gender girls. Body image woes can affect anybody with a body living in a world with rigid body ideals. Dressmann
Talking About Their FeelingsI'm honestly a little freaked out by how little guys actually talk about their feelings with each other. It's pretty natural for me to text a friend when I'm feeling down or need cheering up, and when a bunch of my girls and I are together, we definitely have some serious heart to hearts. Guys? Not so much. Being an emotive human being shouldn't be considered girly, but it is. Then you end up with these emotionally repressed dudes who don't know how to express themselves or be vulnerable. Sigh. My Mad Fat Diary
Literally Embracing Each OtherA recently Vanity Fair photo of actor Michael B. Jordan and director Ryan Coogler sparked controversy because the two men were--wait for it--touching each other in an affectionate, platonic way. Folks on Twitter and Facebook were going on and on about how this was emasculating. Woof, masculinity so fragile or what? Standards of platonic male affection differ from culture to culture, but it's so rigid in the United States. It shouldn't be feminine to hug someone or put your arm around someone of the same effing gender. Instagram
What other “girly” things should guys embrace? Do you think there are things that are considered “manly” that more women should embrace? What Tell us in the comments!