Nowadays, women aren't playing when it comes to self-care. I know I'm not. Whatever versions of it we individually decide to seek out, we stop at nothing to gain that inner peace and zen we all need. From taking solo or group trips, alone days at the spa, shutting out social media, turning the phone's ringer off for the day, a therapy session, or simply having a mug of tea, women are seemingly mastering the art of self-care and reclaiming our energy at any and all costs.
And while this is so necessary for survival, to take care of our families and be our badass selves in all facets of our lives, I'm now realizing the importance of sharing these self-care tips with the men in our lives. I know, I know, we can't let them in on all the secrets, but passing on a little bit of the wellness wealth to our husbands, boyfriends, fathers, brothers, friends, uncles, and even grandfathers could be a mutually beneficial deal. Here's why I share my self-care tips with the guys in my life.
1.They need it too, especially now.
Men are usually the last ones to admit that they need help, especially if it has to do with their mental or physical health; this is where we come in! If I'm being frank, Black people as a whole have been really seeing the ugly side of the world. From the ignorance with people using black face to sell clothing and shoes and even in politics, we've been straight up disrespected a lot recently. As women, we have our rituals and regimens down packed to help us fend off any and all negative energy that comes our way, but what about our guys? Sharing my self-care tips with the men in my life helps me to help them tackle the woes of the world as well because, I need them to survive!
2.It strengthens our bond.
I've always been super close with my dad, but over the past few years we tightened our bond over our love for healthy eating and using natural remedies to cure minor illnesses and my silly acne! For me, self-care is slathering fresh aloe vera on my face three times a week and now using his recipes for the best fresh juices. Sharing my moisturizing techniques with my husband or teaching my brothers how to pray and meditate all draw me closer to the men in my life.
3.Helping them helps me.
Who doesn't want their husband, fathers, brothers and uncles around and healthy for as long as possible? Since these are the men I live with or interact with on a daily basis, it only makes sense that helping them to be their healthiest and well cared for selves will reap benefits for me too. Who are the biggest babies when they sick? Men! But, armed with a world of knowledge on how to care for themselves, internally and externally, saves me from constantly having to be the "fixer."
Do you share your self-care and wellness tips with the men around you?
Featured image by Getty Images
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Ianthia is a freelance Bahamian writer, journalist, TV host and producer and travel and lifestyle blogger with works and features in Essence, Forbes Travel Guide and Sheen Magazine. A TV anchor turned full-time blogger, Ianthia quickly became one of The Bahamas' top influencers; even being awarded the honor at the 2017 Bahamas 40 Under 40 awards. Ianthia's MiniSkirts and Microphones website (www.ianthia-smith.com) is a travel and lifestyle blog for busy millennial women looking for advice and inspiration on how to transition from 9 to 5 to fulltime girl boss while being a woman in the age of social media.
Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
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If there’s a President Barbie world, run by actress Issa Rae, then I absolutely want to live in it. The Insecure creator has had a fairytail trajectory from shooting her own YouTube series, Awkward Black Girl to becoming thatgirl on the big screen in this summer’s box office smash, Barbie. And while she easily has the most epic glow-up of our generation, the 38-year-old isn’t afraid to speak on the pressure she felt to be “Barbie-ready.”
In a recent interview with Glamour, Issa Rae opened up about her challenges with body image taking a toll on her preparation to play President Barbie following the end of her hit HBO series, Insecure.
“Right before [the role came to me], I was post-Insecure, post–Rap Sh!t, and post-the-final-season-of-Insecure-press-tour,” she recalls to the publication. “I was like, ‘Well, I'm going to let myself go. I'm eating everything.’ And then I got the call to do Barbie and was like, ‘Oh, no, I am not Barbie-shape ready.’”
Thankfully, Rae realized that the reimagined Barbie world that director Greta Gerwig was creating, reflected bodies of all shapes and sizes. “So, while I was still on my fitness journey, I felt less insecure about my Barbie body or lack thereof,” she says.
Rae’s “youthful, fun” and fresh take on the president is one that is inspired by the childhood version that she always envisioned. Growing up, she remembers how her mother and aunties making a point to give her Black Barbies made her “hyperaware” of her Blackness from an early age, which served as a gift in representation that she understood as she came of age.
“In some ways, I was made hyperaware of my Blackness because of how intense my mom and aunt were about, ‘We're giving you Black Barbies,” she shares. “They said, ‘It's important for you to play with dolls that look like you,’ which I didn't really understand. I was like, ‘Okay, more toys, thank you.’”
She continues, “I never played with Christie. I don't think I knew about Christie until later. It was just Barbie with blackface kind of, and it didn't necessarily have Black features. It didn't really mean anything to me until I got older and understood why it was so important for my mom and aunt for me to have this.”
What is expected to be a “self-aware” take on Barbie’s existential experience, the new Barbie movie imitates life in a way that represents the full spectrum of what Barbies of today would look like. With actresses like America Ferrera, Margot Robbie, and Alexandra Shipp all starting in the film, Rae emphasizes that no matter her shade or background there’s a Barbie in this Barbie world for you.
“Everyone in Barbie Land is a perfect Barbie. I found that so beautiful,” she says. “Almost everyone in the world is represented in some way here. That's not an easy piece. I'm sure someone might be like, ‘Where am I?’ But know that there was such an effort made to have Barbie Land be inclusive.”
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