If you’re scrolling on TikTok and you haven’t seen a post with the hashtag #softlife, are you really scrolling on TikTok?
The concept of a “soft life” has gained significant popularity in the past year – it has been tagged over 955.5 million times (and counting) on the social platform – so it’s not just a passing trend, it’s a phenomenon. And we’re guessing that some of those shouting “soft life” aren’t just women. There’s got to be some men in that almost 1 billion people, right?
But what exactly does a soft life mean, and why is it so sought after? Let’s delve into the world of soft life and explore its meaning and appeal to women … and lately, men.
Origins of “Soft Life”
Coined by the Nigerian influencer community, a “soft life” rejects the stereotypical lifestyle that portrays Black women solely as laborers and providers. A soft life refers to a lifestyle focused on personal well-being, comfort, and relaxation. It involves indulging in activities that bring joy and creating an environment of tranquility and self-care. The allure lies in escaping the stresses of daily life, even if only temporarily.
So, a soft life manifested, at least on social media, might depict a person in an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere, sharing calming content that showcases cozy spaces, self-care routines, and moments of relaxation. Think: a relaxing spa day, making a fully indulgent pancake breakfast on a Sunday morning, going to therapy, or reading a favorite book in the park. But it also can mean going with your girls to Beyonce’s Renaissance tour, a luxe trip with your lover, actually taking your vacation days off from work, or spending a solo day – no kids – shopping at Target. Doesn’t that sound good?!
It represents a shift towards prioritizing personal well-being, mental health, and self-care. It serves as a reminder that taking time for oneself is necessary for overall happiness and fulfillment.
Men Are Having Their Say About “Soft Life”
Originally associated with women, a soft life has now transcended gender boundaries, with women saying they want their men to enjoy a soft life, plus more men expressing their desire for a soft life as well.
While some critics argue that the desire for a soft life is selfish or unrealistic, many people argue that it is a positive and empowering mindset. Within healthy relationships, there’s a desire to extend the benefits of a soft life to men, recognizing the challenges faced by Black men in America. It reflects the idea that providing comfort and peace to loved ones is an expression of love and empathy. As one Twitter user, a woman, put it, “I want my man to have a ‘soft life’ as well. It’s not all about me. I don’t want him to have to worry/stress about anything. It’s hard enough being a BLACK MAN in America so If there is anything I can do to make life a lil easier for him then I’m on it no questions asked!”
However, others argue that the pursuit of a soft life can be harmful, particularly when it is based on the belief that someone else owes you a life of ease and comfort. As another Twitter user, a man, pointed out, “A lot of y’all gents will get depressed because you believe you owe women soft life. You owe the world to yourself bro.”
Another tweet suggests that a soft life should not be expected from men unless married, urging individuals to seek support from family members instead. This perspective underscores the idea that a soft life can be fostered through various relationships.
A Soft Life Is the Ideal, But Is It Always Attainable?
Living a soft life is not limited to a privileged few. While financial stability and flexible schedules can facilitate this lifestyle, the essence of the soft life lies in the small acts of self-care and intentional choices we make each day.
Ultimately, the pursuit of a soft life is a personal choice, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether it is a good or bad thing. Some people may find that the pursuit of a soft life helps them to feel happier, more fulfilled, and less stressed, while others may find that it is a source of frustration or disappointment. What is important is that each individual takes the time to consider their own goals and desires, and to strive for a life that brings them joy and satisfaction, whatever that may look like.
–– By Kweli I. Wright