What can we do as a male-focused community to help #BreakTheBias?
At Humānery, we HATE stereotypes.
We hate them because they damage us all—men included.
They prevent us from being ourselves, expressive and joyous.
They prevent us from speaking out about our mental health.
They prevent us from being kinder to others and ourselves.
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias.
It’s a theme that recognises how our own cognitive biases and preconceived notions can have a harmful impact on not only how we treat each other, but on how our society is formed.
We’re all guilty of it. It’s an evolutionary hang-up in our species that organises people into groups and uses past experiences to inform future decisions.
The idea behind #BreakTheBias is to be mindful. To recognise when our pre-formed ideas about a certain gender, particular ethnic group, or member of any marginalised community cloud our judgement and place limitations on others.
After all, stereotypes are harmful. They deny people their full humanity by dictating certain expectations around how they should behave. And nowhere is this more prevalent than when it comes to gender.
Gender stereotypes are instilled early. Most of us guys remember being given cars and Legos when our sisters were given dolls. We were funnelled into more logical, industrious, and competitive fields, whereas women were told to be caregivers, nurturers, and expected to abide by a different standard of behaviour.
As a growing men’s beauty marketplace, we want to create a world where all men feel comfortable pursuing self-care. Especially in an industry almost exclusively limited to a single gender.
We want to shift the narrative, and remind everyone (especially men) that taking care of yourself and getting to know your individual skin-care, beard-care, beauty, and grooming needs is healthy, fun, and can lead to a number of other positive physical and mental effects in your life.
It wasn’t always the case that beauty and maintenance were the primary preserves of women. Ancient Egyptian men would use elaborate eyeliner to invoke the gods. Here in the UK, Elizabethan male courtiers risked lead poisoning by caking their faces with makeup. Victorian gentlemen also took special pride in their masculine, well-groomed beards by purchasing etiquette guides and regularly visiting barbers (see: Sweeny Todd).
And yet, today, most men’s skincare routines involve a simple bar of soap and (maybe) a moisturiser. But can you blame us when most of our culture has steered us in a certain direction, based on fear of colouring outside the lines of our prescribed gender?
As a company, we’ll continuously work to #BreakTheBias—in our recruitment efforts, our purpose, our culture, and our commitment to empowering everyone, regardless of gender, to pursue self-care.
—The Humans of Humānery
To learn more about International Women’s Day and donate to some amazing efforts supporting and celebrating women, you can visit their website at https://www.internationalwomensday.com/