This year, from June 14-20, health services, community groups, publications and brands alike will take the opportunity to celebrate Men’s Health Week. But the average Australian who identifies as male won’t - and it's anopportunity that, all too often, is tragically missed.
Because in his lifetime, the Australian male will experience a higher incidence of illness and accident, as well as a significantly shorter life expectancy than his female counterpart. He’ll be statistically less likely to seek help for any grievances relating to his health, physical or mental, and the numbers paint a sobering picture – Australian men take their own lives at four times the rate of women – one that’s significantly worse for marginalised demographics.
In light of a year that has prompted a radical shift in thinking about ideas of health – of the individual and as itrelates to the greater public good – how do we talk about the health of men? Of its physical, mental, interpersonal and spiritual manifestations; of its relationship to work and productivity; of its relationship to constructs ofmasculinity, ageing, self-care and the body?
For San Francisco-based Alex Penfold, co-founder of Jaxon Lane, it comes as little surprise that balance is the cornerstone of his approach to health. Penfold founded his company on the premise of high-quality, accessible Korean skin-care for men with his wife, Jen, with whom he parents two young children. Evidently, theirs is a dynamic with balance at its centre. At work as much as at home and where matters of health are concerned, it’s the guidingedict.
Herewith, Penfold reflects on the art of finding said balance between competing factions.