“I’d rather go naked than wear the coat the world has made for me.” – Dorothy Allison
SELF-CARE IS A RADICALLY FEMINIST ACT
Women – and those who identify as women – are tired. Bone tired.
We give and give and give until we break.
We are so often expected to perform a character in this world. We’re told to smile, look pretty, be cheerful, do more, be more, take care of everyone else but ourselves.
In 2017, we’re still very often expected to bear the brunt of the housework, but now we get to “Lean In” while we’re at it.
We’re expected to be beautiful. But not *too* beautiful. Thin but not *too* thin. And forever 25 years old.
Self-hatred is a multi-billion dollar industry.
And it’s fucking exhausting.
When we consistently and intentionally indulge in self-care practices, we are rejecting the status quo.
Mothers everywhere are made to feel guilty when they take a weekend away from their babies to de-stress. At family gatherings all across America, it’s often the women who cook the meal AND clean up afterward, while the men sit in reclining chairs, drink beer, and watch football. Working women often feel guilty for not spending time with their kids or doing enough around the house.
Even if you and your family are “enlightened,” pay attention to the subtle signs all around you that indicate that, as a woman, you’re supposed to care for everyone else before you care for yourself.
But I believe you need to put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.
Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s mandatory.
And your version of self-care doesn’t need to look like everyone else’s. It just has to work for you.
For some people, it means drinking a green juice. For others, it means eating cake.
I started thinking a lot about self-care as it relates to From Molly With Love.
This company started as way to care for myself after battling addiction and mental illness. I started adopting little rituals to heal myself – meditating in the morning, taking time to savor my nightly skincare ritual, indulging in long and steamy showers, etc.
When I priced and branded our products, I wanted them to be made with high-quality ingredients and look absolutely beautiful – but not be so expensive that they’re inaccessible. The word “everyday luxury” came to mind over and over again.
Everyday luxury is what makes life a little more special. It’s the candle you light at your desk at work. It’s a soak in the bathtub after a long day. It’s buying yourself flowers just because. It’s sleeping in a half hour on Saturday mornings.
Even the smallest self-care practices can make a big difference in womens’ lives. And in a way, a commitment to self-care is subversive.
Self-care is a radically feminist act.
My brilliant friend Kelly Diels summed this up so beautifully…. “Yoga. Fitness. Spirituality. Entrepreneurism. Career (even and especially Lean In feminism). Self care. Positive thinking. Decluttering. All of these places could be places in which we talk back to the systems producing the stress, overwhelm, overwork, insecurity and time-theft endemic to so many of our lives. All of these places are spaces in which we could band together and act back on the sexist limits and egregiously gendered expectations placed on us. But instead, what we’re learning about empowerment in these places is that you have a choice: thin your thighs and thicken your bank balance…or…what?”
So we produced a series of graphics that provide everyday self-care tips. We share them everyday on Facebook but here are a few of them. Take what works for you and leave the rest.