How Black Women Are Manifesting ‘Soft Life’ Energy in 2023

by Xara Aziz

A new year means new energy, but some Black women across the globe simply can’t afford a “soft life,” a term birthed out of the self-care movement, which urges women to live a life of comfort and low stress.

Social media influencers make it look easy. To them (or at least what they advertise on their pages), making YOU a priority entails expensive manicures every two weeks, traveling to some far distant island every two months, eating at five-star restaurants and wearing high-end luxury brands.

But a recent Insider article says it’s more complicated than that.

“How does one live a life that only entails partaking in activities that are more rewarding than they are necessary? Privilege would be the short answer. Privilege in finances, privilege in social status, and privilege in source of income, whether via wealthy parents, large brand deals, or a successful significant other,” wrote Brianna Holt. “Maybe that explains why the soft life aesthetic is oversaturated with white creators, a demographic that is more likely to have generational wealthstrike large deals with brands, and even date people with high-paying jobs. Optimistically, another version of living a soft life is gaining popularity among ‘online’ Black women – this time as a lifestyle instead of an aesthetic.”

For Nicole Jenkins, an assistant professor of sociology at Howard University, obtaining a soft life means ensuring you put yourself first.

“Living a soft life is unapologetically prioritizing self needs,” she told Insider. “Everybody understands self-care, but Black women generally have had a difficult time because they’re often prioritizing other folks’ needs over themselves. It’s a new rendition of self-care that is really unapologetically prioritizing what it is that we need in rejection of this strong Black woman narrative that so many of us have been cultured into really adopting.”

Jenkins further added that a soft life can be achieved without all the bells and whistles. Allowing yourself time to rest, telling yourself daily affirmations, prayer and meditation are all ways to channel a soft life.

Whether a soft life is flying first-class and staying at five-star hotels, or sitting at peace in the comfort of your home once a week, it’s about putting you first. The rest will follow.

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