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Facials, Manicures & More Self-Care Practices Your Man Needs To Start Indulging In Right Now

Men practicing self-care isn't feminine. It's so very necessary.

Wellness

Ladies, be honest, what comes to mind when I say, "self-care"?

Let me guess, you probably thought of a woman (i.e. yourself) having a spa day wrapped in a fluffy robe or even a mani/pedi with matching nail polish colors. Am I right? Unfortunately, for men, the term self-care has somehow found itself coined as feminine. It's actually one of the very few gender stereotypes that kind of works in our favor and we literally dominate the self-care culture.

As a result, some men find themselves shying away from self-care due to gender-based stigmas. They fear that partaking in self-care won't be seen as masculine. But listen up men and women, men taking care of themselves is not feminine at all! It is so very necessary. In fact, ladies we should actually be encouraging our husbands, boyfriends, brothers, fathers, uncles, and male friends to take care of themselves and indulge in a little self-care, especially during these trying times.

Here are 6 ways that men can begin indulging in self-care today:

Facials/Skincare

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This is listed first for a reason. It is so important that men take care of their skin, too. I mean, it's one of the first things that people see when they meet you. And guys, we can tell when you're not taking care of it. That is why I am all the way here for this recent Twitter thread showing black men taking care of their skin! Yes, fellas!

To be honest, I used to consider getting a facial as a luxury, but now I consider it maintenance for my skin. If you've never had one, it is a service performed by a licensed professional, usually an esthetician or facialist that includes cleansing, exfoliation, steaming, extractions, and a mask. Before COVID-19, I got a facial every 4 to 6 weeks while others may only get them just four times a year. How often you go is totally up to you and your esthetician or facialist. According to Men's Health, here's what you need to know before getting a facial:

- If you have sensitive skin skip your shave the day you get a facial.
- Be patient. It can take up to a week to see results from your facial.
- It may get a little uncomfortable when it's time for extractions and exfoliation. Trust me its's worth it though.

Manicure/Pedicure

I remember when it used to be a rare sighting to see men in the nail shop but now I'm almost always guaranteed to see at least 1-2 men during my visits. This trend of seeing more men in the nail shop is expected to continue. In fact, there are more and more establishments opening that only cater to men. Alpha Male Nail Care Services in Charlotte, NC does just that! If you're in the Charlotte area, be sure to check them out!

Taking care of your hands and feet is almost as important as taking care of your skin. There is nothing I hate more than seeing a well-dressed man with dirty fingernails. Getting a mani/pedi isn't just important for superficial reasons either. Regular manicures and pedicures help prevent hangnails, stop ingrown toenails, and help to soften corns and calluses. Oh, and the massage at the end is everything! Trust me!

Warm Bath

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As someone who loves water, you would think that I would indulge in taking a warm bath for relaxation purposes more often than I do. But it was actually my boyfriend that taught me the benefits of taking a warm bath. While a bath can certainly be used for hygiene purposes or to wash away the day, it also has many other benefits such as alleviating muscle aches and pains, helping to regulate your body temperature, and helping you sleep better at night. So King, run a warm bath, put on some calming music, light a candle and enjoy.

Massage

Massages are an act of self-care that I'd say most men are probably fairly comfortable reveling in, however, research shows that more women get massages than men. Make time to get an occasional massage, fellas. You can literally get one anywhere from the spa to the airport. Massages help alleviate stress, anxiety, pain, tension, and can even enhance exercise performance.

Meditation

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If you scroll through social media, you will no doubt become inundated with messages on healing and meditation that are directed at women. It's actually pretty disheartening that more men are not encouraged to meditate. Regular meditation can significantly benefit both your physical and mental health. There are so many different types of meditation, so there is literally something for everyone. Headspace.com has a great write up on the different types of meditation. I encourage my brothers to browse and find the one that is right for you.

Therapist

Mental health can be a bit of a taboo in the black community overall, but especially for black men who are expected to be strong and show little-to-no emotion. While it is important to take care of your skin, your body, your hands, and your feet, please don't forget about your mind, guys. If your mind isn't healthy, it really doesn't matter how healthy the rest of you is. More and more therapists are offering telehealth options due to COVID-19. There are also sites like Therapy for Black Men that can help you find a therapist in your area.

Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!

Featured image by Shutterstock.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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