#BlackMenLove

On Reclaiming Masculinity, Flower Crowns, and Loving Each Other

A few days ago, I asked men to #TwitpicYourFlowerCrown on Twitter. It started out as me poking fun at the all too popular flower crown filter and it’s use on Snapchat. It turned into something more.

Too often online and in real life, we see examples of the fragility of masculinity. We see men condemn other men (and women) for doing anything they perceive as feminine. Men posting pictures with the flower or butterfly crown filter became a subtle representation of reclaiming the definition of masculinity from the stereotype, and redefining it into what we want it to mean.

We have to reclaim masculinity from fragility. Black men often have this false definition of what being masculine … what being a man … means. We can and have to change that narrative.

This may lead one to ask, “If we’re redefining masculinity, then what does it really mean?” I can’t pretend to define exactly what it is for everyone, but I can tell you how I see it.

Masculinity is expressing love and admiration for everyone in their lives, men, women, and gender neutral. Masculinity is effectively loving our daughters and sons. Masculinity is giving women the same (if not more) respect that is offered to other men. Masculinity is being comfortable in the man you are, in your likes and dislikes, and never apologizing for that.

Masculinity is a man being comfortable in who he is and what he has to offer. Masculinity is being emotionally responsible. This pertains to romantic, familial, and platonic relationships. Be responsible. Be accountable. To yourself and others.

We all have the opportunity to take back masculinity from the status quo and redefine it. Too often, toxic masculinity is a result of insecurity making noise in hopes that other men and women take notice and act accordingly. However, the strong move quiet and the weak start riots. Toxic masculinity is the riot of the insecure male psyche. And its extremely destructive and divisive.

The reality is, #BlackMenLove. And we love effectively. And we can live and love freely because loving freely is masculine, even when adorned with a crown of flowers and butterflies.

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