Imagine you are the proud owner of a Ferrari 250 GTO. If you had a car like that you’d look after it right? You’d make sure to wash it and you’d make sure it doesn’t get scratched or ruined in any way.
You’d do those things because you were so stunned to have something so valuable, but what if I told you that you were already in possession of something invaluable, as are all your friends, family and even strangers.
This invaluable possession is your own body.
However, unlike we would if we had a Ferrari, we often neglect our bodies and forget to look after them. This is the case for many, however in September the focus for health checks and looking after your body is put to men.
Specifically, Blue September, which is to bring forth knowledge regarding prostate cancer and to remind men to get their needed checks, through a blood test and exam.
If you’re around my age and reading this, perhaps you are a little weirded out, thinking that maybe this issue isn’t to do with your demographic – but it is this ignorance which furthers a culture that ignores.
Yes I am not a man over 40 but my father, my uncles and my grandfather are.
The men in our lives who are the dreaded word – middle aged – adults are at risk of this illness, if they do not go and get checks – this is where you come in.
I’m not saying you need get down and dirty with all the details, that isn’t a young persons place or appropriation – but a casual mention of “have you had your health checks and tests lately?” Could potentially save a life and a life of someone that you care for. It is time health related subjects lost their taboo natures, this doesn’t mean knowing every personal detail.
It does however mean becoming aware of the fact that health is something you can and must be comfortable talking about.
New Zealand seems to be the worst at this, among us there is this expectation that men and boys have a constant facade that everything is okay – you don’t have to be forty to see it in action – at 17 and 18, or even younger; men put on facades to protect the perception of their strength, pretending not to be hurt or sick, through fear of appearing weaker and this is all wrong.
We need to start showing that talking about our bodies, health and our emotions about both of these things, is accepted and okay to do. Heck, if we start showing this to 18 year old males and females then perhaps future 40 year old’s will be more comfortable addressing health issues, of both men and women.
Change for the now begins with everyone. Change for the future begins with youth, that being you!
I know that you know the stigma is there surrounding men’s health and I am asking you, to stop accepting it among your pairs and start changing it. It is then we will see in our future a change in statistics as currently 600 men die yearly in our country of Prostate cancer – this number could be lowered, if more men were checked and is it also when challenging the stigma, we’ll see a change in attitude toward health in general.
It is time we started talking about it.
Learn more here: https://blueseptember.org.nz/
Photo by : Joseph Ganley