We have Megan Thee Stallion to thank for that unforgettable hot girl summer of 2019. And then COVID-19 had us getting a shot for hot vax summer (‘cause it was time to be OUTSIDE outside in Tulum or wherever your vaccination status took you). But in 2022, after doing the most in our professional and personal lives, it’s time for soft girl summer — or better yet, living that soft girl life.
On this episode of Unbothered’s Go Off, Sis podcast, the hosts rock the mic with a special, intimate conversation with just the UB fam. They take a beat to dig a grave for the strong Black woman trope and bury the expectations that come with it. That cliché has been giving relentless stress and anxiety — with a side order of exhaustion — to Black women ever since someone foolishly thought “strong” was a coveted identifier.
But when it comes time to examine the hosts’ individual definitions of soft girl summer, and the ingredients that make up a soft life, that’s when the conversation gets a bit spicy. Is softness about yachting? Is it owning the latest Fendi bag? Is it securing the lead designer position at work?
Co-host and VP of Unbothered, Chelsea Sanders, asks the ladies to go beyond what’s dominating their TikTok and Instagram timelines. “How are we vibrating higher and making the best choices for us?” Sanders asks. “Regardless of what we decide this soft life summer means?”
While Kathleen Newman-Bremang, co-host and Unbothered Global Deputy Director, doesn’t believe a soft life should be connected to work at all, and yet somehow, she finds herself automatically thinking about her 9-to-5. “My gut reaction was to say money, of course, creative freedom, and sleep.” She adds, “A soft life is about doing away with some of the structural systemic expectations that have been put on us.”
Co-host and Associate Social Media Strategist Maiya Carmichael just wants to be happy like Mary J. Blige. “I just want to feel like I’m on a natural high. I want to feel like, ‘Wow, like I’m floating.’ I want to be in an emotionally good place. I want to be in a financially good place — and that doesn’t mean I’m balling out of control like Beyoncé. It means the bills are paid. I can go out and eat and drink with my friends, and I can buy what I want to buy.”
But everyone isn’t happy that the soft life is “accessible to Black women,” says co-host and Culture Critic Ineye Komonibo. The backlash to Black women wanting to live a soft life proves that some people feel a way about Black women daring to abandon the proverbial cotton and tattered strong Black woman robe for a sexy fabric that’s not associated with struggle and suffering. “Outside of the Black community, people are like, ‘Black women [don’t want] to be tough? That doesn’t sound right.’”
To hear more about the soft life in relationships and how it relates to privilege, listen to the full episode, below.