by Girl Tyler
Welcome to the "soft life." You've probably seen it making its rounds on social media all year long. The phrase is a desired destination met with resistance and often ridicule. Nonetheless, there is a movement of women arriving there every day. The soft life is more than a social media hashtag; it's a way of life. The era of girl bosses and hustlers had a good run. Bare minimum babes, luxury queens, and damsels-in-distress girlies are having a moment. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to a soft life.
A few months ago, I felt frustrated about a work project. I silenced all notifications and then closed my laptop. Finally, a moment to breathe, then I picked up my phone and tweeted, "This strong Black woman thing was very cute. We had a good run, but I now aspire to be a lady of leisure. "I am looking for a soft place to land." I soon received THOUSANDS of mixed reactions. Some comments were very mean, while others presented the most loving solidarity between men and women. The "soft life" had made its rounds online before my tweet. Shoutout to the person that coined the phrase.
My proverbial "soft place to land" represented a space where I can be my whole self without feeling under a constant microscope. Many of us often feel as though we are put in positions to fail with a lack of resources leaving us to crash and burn from the very beginning. On this day, I realized that life is not hard, people make it hard. I need grace and unique challenges to grow me, not impossible scenarios without a chance to thrive.
You can have it all without feeling hazed by the people, places, and spaces you occupy. Call it a vanity phrase or an unattainable object of our desire, but one thing I know for sure, a new day is here. The soft life is personal. You’ll never find one way to define it. I reached out to a few women from various backgrounds to get their take on what the term "soft life" means to them.
“The soft life to me means ease and spaciousness. It’s rejecting the hustle and grind because I never really gained anything from it except fibroids. I took a sabbatical this summer. I work four hours a day. I don’t hesitate to jump in an Uber if public transportation ain’t acting right. Coming from where I’m from, living the soft life is healing for my soul.”
-Ariane Hunter, Author, Founder, Career & Workplace Consultant
“My definition of a soft life is knowing that I don’t have to be strong all the time. It’s ok to be vulnerable and allow myself to lean on others when I don’t have the strength to stand on my own.”
-Dominque Grisby, Senior Consultant
“The soft life. I definitely wouldn't describe my life as soft. In fact, I have no desire to have one. I've been hearing women talk about wanting or having a soft life and for those who want it, I want that for them. But the soft life isn't a life I envision for myself. I want to create a dope life on my own terms and it's nothing soft about that.“
-Ashley Cobb, Sex Writer
"A soft life is really about having a tribe of people that love and protect you at all costs. It's like having this barrier around you that's never going to let you give up or truly fail in anything you aspire to do. I'm never a fan of the Black strong woman trope. It doesn't serve us or define us. We shouldn't have to suffer to come out better on the other side. A soft life is about having the opportunity to have a good life without our pain being required to overcome it. Having a soft life is the result of knowing you deserve love and being able to give that same love in return."
-Jenn Shaw, Writer / Director