The #SoftLife for Latinas Calls For Radical Vulnerability & Self Love

Softness looks like practicing radical vulnerability with the most tender parts of ourselves unashamedly and dismantling the lie that to be soft means to be weak

Soft life Latina

Photo: Unsplash/Polina Kuzovkova

In recent years, a new movement and aesthetic has risen across our phone screens showcasing pink bouquets, fuzzy slippers, and solo vacations on social media. Known as the soft girl era, it makes its debut among girls worldwide imparting self-care routines, affirmations, and ideas around what a #softlife looks like. The inspiration is endless, and in a digital space one can’t help but gravitate towards the glamorous content, but is this the full story of our journey towards softness? Can we define this so easily in light of personal and cultural realities as a collective? For Latinas, we can recognize that the soft life means beautiful aesthetics and more. To be soft is a way of life as we journey toward ourselves in radical vulnerability and live-giving pleasure. 

Recently Carla Morrison’s song, Hasta la Piel has caught popularity on TikTok over the caption, “mi hija es muy independiente.” Carla’s voice sings, “quiero sentarme a llorar, sacar de adentro mil cosas que te quiero decir, me siento tan débil sin ti,” over trending videos of Latinas releasing tears in the struggle. The chorus resonates with many hijas attempting to hold it together and I can’t help but think how much life, loss, and systemic struggles have made tough girls out of us. I think of the hyper-independence we were raised with from mothers who only knew survival in terms of fending for themselves. Surviving hard things and the isms (racism, sexism, capitalism, classims, heterosexism and more) of this world has thickened our skin. Generationally, we have been told to endure as much as we can, but aguantando is no way to live and we must remind ourselves of this.

Thinking we must push through our martyrdom and depletion is contrary to the soft life. For Latinas, the soft life calls us towards another way of living, one where we can thrive in our honesty. We can push back against the hyper-independent narrative we learned since young and say “no” to harm, admit it hurts, and relieve ourselves in the process. Softness looks like practicing radical vulnerability with the most tender parts of ourselves unashamedly and dismantling the lie that to be soft means to be weak.

In For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts, Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez tells us “desahogate, to stay tender and soft,” while facing a world that does not want to see us thrive. To be soft is to give ourselves permission to fall apart because this is human. We claim our humanity back from people and places that tried to make us subhuman and recognize our vulnerability as a strength, not a weakness. Trauma informed therapist and speaker, Yolanda Renteria agrees that el desahogo is in fact good and natural for our bodies to practice because they are designed to emotionally discharge. In an educational Instagram post, Renteria states, “humans are meant to experience soft emotions, we are wired to be sensitive,” thus having emotions and discharging the energy from them is as natural for us as eating and sleeping.

Our ancestors suppressed to survive, and we have done this at times to get through difficult experiences, yet normalizing and releasing our tender emotions will help us heal and set us up for an authentic soft life. For the Latina entering the soft life, this is a new way of living as she walks in grace toward herself and her emotions in true self-care. 

A strong trait of the soft life opens up possibilities for us to also experience pleasure, something that some of us are still defining or getting familiar with. In her book Sensual Faith, author Lyvonne Briggs summarizes pleasure as simple as centering our joy and delight. Though sex is part of this, it does not encompass all of pleasure. When addressing self-pleasure in the Naked Folk podcast, Latina sexologist and entrepreneur Rebecca Alvarez Story adds to this conversation by sharing that the act of pleasure means to nurture our full body. For Latinas who may be starting this journey, Alvarez Story encourages us to begin with small things we enjoy doing like taking a bath while watching a show we love, and then incorporating body oils or scents in our solo time.

She empowers us to slowly build our journey in self-pleasure practically and has also paved the way by providing Latinas with tools such as body massagers, oils, vibrators and more through her accessible intimacy brand Bloomi. Pleasure is a profound and sacred act, Briggs reminds us that it spurs out of a healed place in knowing we are worthy of softness and good things. The soft life for Latinas means moving toward more pleasure because we are WORTHY OF IT and have the tools to practice it inwardly and with ourselves.

The U.S. thrives off consumerist and capitalist values including easy “fixes” and solutions to self-soothe every inconvenient feeling we have. Pedicures, postrecitos, spa days and the art of treating ourselves are opportunities we must take when we can but when the funds run low or when this is not enough we must look inward. The soft life calls us into a way of being and living rooted in our vulnerability and pleasure, especially for Latinas who have been deprived of this. We don’t have to engage in the hard or unfamiliar work of softness alone either! Who are the friends that you can desahogar with? Where can you find soft spaces that provide a pillow for your weary head and gentle reminder of your worth when capitalism is busting your behind? When it comes to our pleasure journey, how are you practicing pleasure outside of your phone screen simply because something brings you joy today?

In the words of Alvarez Story, what are you doing to nurture your full body?

Without validating the complexity of our journeys and stories, we may lose the significance of what it truly means for Latinas to practice our softness beyond the hashtag and aesthetic. The soft life for Latinas is revolution. It is a reminder that we are human, we are tender, and worthy of love, ease, healing, and pleasure simply as is, asi como somos.

May we walk in this awareness as we enter in and make ourselves at home in our soft girl era. To know we can embrace our full and authentic selves in the midst of chaos makes us extraordinary. 

In this Article

comfort Latina mental health Mental Health rebecca alvarez story Self Care Self Love soft life
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