Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: The Black Woman and A Soft Life

There is this term floating around the internet in the circle of black women and black influencers. It’s the great debate and discussion of a term “soft life” dubbed by the Nigerian influencer community.

The term “soft life” originated in the Nigerian influencer community as slang for living a life of comfort and low stress. That is part of what makes soft life content so inspiring: the chance to imagine what life can feel like apart from the realities of Black women’s labor. – Channing Grove, Andscape.com Here is the link to explain it in detail https://andscape.com/features/the-softlife-isnt-as-easy-as-it-looks-online/

I’ve been thinking about this and listening to many black women discuss it. Some are for it, some are against it and then there are black women like me, that are in between. I can say I am much on par for what influencer and storyteller Tenicka Boyd says in the article in the link above. Here is an excerpt of my understanding of a soft life: “For many Black women it is a challenge to move past always being the responsible one, always sacrificing their enjoyment, always putting others over ourselves,” she said. “The soft life is quite literally a rejection of the hard life. Life of struggle and sacrifice.” I also agree with another influencer and business woman I follow, Montelle Bee, which she basically says, a soft life is not just about vacations and designer items. It’s not about working and spending all of your money on things and vacations to be broke by the next paycheck. I’d like to say, it’s not about pretending on social media and struggling behind the camera. And as she said, what is your definition of a soft life and how will you achieve that type of lifestyle? It has to be built. I agree wholeheartedly. IT HAS TO BE BUILT AND NOT JUST FROM THE OUTSIDE BUT, FROM THE INSIDE OUT.

Perhaps, as that is being built, what about soft areas in your life? What areas in your life do you no longer desire to struggle with or in? I thought about it and some areas in my life that I have softened are the areas of relationships and co-parenting. I no longer struggle with co-parenting and that happened years ago. I no longer remain in relationships that are emotionally and mentally abusive. Those were hard things that I have now softened by growing, transformation, evolving, and learning lessons. I continue to co-parent and to date but, I can say I know what exactly the type of relationship I desire and it’s not one of pure hell. I can say by accepting the fact that I am a mother and I am parent it what helped lesson the drama co-parenting can create. I still have to be a parent and mother no matter what the other parent does or does not do (and might I add he matured (so did I) and has been a great father), things got easier. Softer.

As a Black/African American in this country, all over the world, I do think we deserve the luxuries we have been denied or told we didn’t deserve. You know the looks you get or being told you can’t afford something as soon as you walk into the establishment or inquire about an item. “Oh honey, that’s not in your price range.” “Oh, that’s pricey.” You know, walking onto a lot and being shown the used cars they think you can “probably” afford based off your race or attire. Or as I once was told, “Oh, these apartments are xyz amount.” Although, the question asked was, “Are there any apartments available.” I don’t want to be the one on call every weekend or on holidays while the good ol’ girls network their way around these dates. Can these incidents happen to anyone? Absolutely. But it’s been proven they most likely happen more often to minorities.

But let’s not be fooled. Life for most of us, no matter the race or gender, living on this planet is not easy. It is hard. It is a challenge. We are met with physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and financial challenges no matter how much money you make or your status. But alleviating some of those areas of distress creates a “woosah”, an exhale, a soft area. When you master your finances, whoo! You can breathe in that area better. When you heal in certain areas. Exhale. You can breathe better.

Call it what you want. I call it making life easier where I can. I call it no longer tolerating toxic treatment from the church house to the white house to in my house. At 47, I don’t want to “go hard” 24/7. I want to work smarter and harder when it’s called for. I want a softer landing in my financial affairs. Therefore, I work to learn to manage and grow my finances so in the future, things won’t be so hard for me. That is my next “soft area”.

~Nikki

5 thoughts on “Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: The Black Woman and A Soft Life

  1. I do not think the question is one for blacks only. Certainly most of us want and deserve the soft life. I exclude murders maybe. Even that is debatable.

    Of course each person among all races have difference issues and definitions of what a soft life might be. I suppose for some it might be money. For me a white male with resources it would be health. For the athlete with a new pro contract it might be longevity.

    But you touched on the universal truth. I know that the soft life is when you have inner peace. I have lacked inner peace in my life and I was not living the soft life. I have found some soft life. But it was a climb to get here and trust me, I clearly do not want to go back.

  2. Loved the breakdown of the “soft life”! The way that I understand it, it’s similar to self-care where you have to find what relaxes you and fills you with joy. You’re right about it not being an endeavor you fake for social media or go broke over. It has to fit your life well!

  3. Beautiful. Only I wouldn’t call it a “soft life,” but living the authentic life God created us for, led by the Holy Spirit. And you are absolutely right. Life is hard. Jesus Himself said we would have trials and tribulations, but to take heart (have courage) for He has overcome the world. And we definitely do not have to put on a façade online or go broke trying to keep up with someone else or live a fake life. Jesus came so that we could have LIFE and have it more abundantly. I’m the one that KNOWS I need Jesus and that I’m not perfect. A few years ago I was a single parent, dating toxic men. Then I found my way back to God and learned how to say NO, which is an entire answer. Once I decided enough was enough and I made up my mind that I wanted a different life things started falling into place. Thank God.

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