In his articles, Fabian Hart repeatedly questions traditional role models, whether on his own platforms or as an author for Vogue and TUSH, among others. A major topic for him is self-care, especially in the context of masculinity. As #selfcare, it is still culturally seen as a "women's issue" and is also labeled as such, although in his opinion this is an emancipatory point, especially for men: to finally put an end to the story of the eternally strong sex. Men are not - or not only - broad shoulders and strong bodies, but also psychologically sensitive and Hart believes it is important for us all to learn to be gentle with ourselves.
In our society, girls are introduced to the topic of skincare at an early age, whereas boys are not. How do you perceive this - and how is it that you, as a man, have developed such an interest in skincare?
Our society really assumes that tasks associated with care and nurturing are perceived as interesting by women and are also carried out by them. This is often justified on biological grounds, that it is simply natural for women to be responsible for care work - after all, they are the ones who give birth to children. But what happened to the fact that women remind their husbands of dentist appointments and that 82% of care workers in Germany are female? That's not nature, that's role attributions made by society. I tried to break away from these gender roles early on, as I never fitted in and as a gay boy/man I was rather "atypically male".
You keep mentioning the emancipatory nature of self-care for men. Selfcare is more than skin care. What else is involved for you?
The traditional distribution of roles that still statistically characterizes the structure of our society today is that the man, as the "main breadwinner", is the economic provider of the family, while women are the caregivers. This is changing, but more as a result of the emancipation waves of the women's movement. Due to the self-determination and financial independence of women, in many cases men tend to develop passively. There is often talk of a "crisis of meaning in masculinity". I do think that an emancipation movement is also necessary, one that comes from men. Overcoming the shame of assuming characteristics, professions and tasks that are defined as feminine or feminine must be part of this movement. Of course, there should also be a willingness to change and I believe that self-care is an emancipatory component for men. A care product in the bathroom is certainly not the solution, but it can be good training for soft skills! Men don't have to slap grooming products on their faces like aftershave in advertising. Learning to be gentle with yourself is the key to many relationships.
You lived in New York for several years before the coronavirus pandemic. Are there differences between Hamburg and New York in terms of social expectations of men?
I lived in Fort Greene, Brooklyn until 2020 and never before have I lived with so many people from different cultures in one city. Within these communities, masculinity requirements certainly differ, but both the USA and Germany are patriarchal and therefore the idea of what is masculine or who is masculine is the same. However, I can say that the queer community in NYC, for example, is more present than here in Hamburg ...
Do you have to expect criticism or headwinds if you speak out on the subject of masculinity?
In any case, I'm often accused of being a "womanizer" or wanting to emasculate men. That's a nice way of putting it. Some people comment on my posts in a much harsher way. Especially men and when I talk about feminism - or when I simply wear a face mask. I think many men are afraid of feminism, if only because the word "feminine" is in it and masculinity is always a rejection of everything that is seen as feminine. Many think that gender equality means men losing their male privileges. But giving up power also means sharing responsibility and that is inevitably healthier, more relaxed.
Finally, we would like to know: Which cicé product should every man have in his bathroom?
I can only speak for myself here and what works well for me is the cicé cleansing foam! It is super gentle and cleanses thoroughly, especially when I have a beard, I feel that the foam washes the beard hair thoroughly and I also shave my contours with the cicé cleansing foam. I also really like the eye cream with bioactive peptides, which are super gentle against dark circles. In general, I just like to take my time in the bathroom in the morning and evening ... A follower once commented "With this routine, you need longer in the bathroom than a woman ..." But which woman is he referring to specifically - that's just another cliché. And even if it was? For me, it's not an insult to be considered unmanly or feminine. It's more a sign that I'm different.
If you want to read more from Fabian, you should definitely follow him on Instagram.