“It’s nice to think that our bubble baths and personal time might have a larger political purpose (“Um, Foucault! I’m not just bingeing Netflix – I’m engaging in Platonic political philosophy in order to better serve others!”), but more often than not, our acts of self-care are simply acts of privilege.
Rather than being a route to social change, self-care has become a destination in itself.”
Arwa Mahdawi – The Guardian 12/1/17
Oh for fucks sake. Right.
What I hate about people in general is that nice things are not allowed to stay nice. They need to be ruined somehow, whether it’s by making it into a business or a platform for oneself’s narcissism or by starting to police and r/gatekeep it to make sure others do it proper.
The clue is in the word dickheads, it’s SELF-care, something FROM you FOR you!
French philosopher Michel Foucault, whom Mahdawi is referring to here, argued that the ancient Greeks saw self-care as integral to democracy, it was a necessary part of care for others. I’m neither a philosopher or an ancient Greek but to me this makes sense. By making sure you look after your own well-being, you make sure you’re well enough to take on board other peoples’ troubles.
We’ve all had that one person in our lives: A friend who doesn’t get in touch unless they have a problem. They broke up with the bf, things are getting on top of them. Once you’ve listened to them and tried to help, their attention swiftly moves away so that you don’t get to return the favour with your own mundane problems.
These emotional energy vampires will rinse, lather, repeat this until you end the friendship to preserve your own sanity. Which is the right thing to do, even though the prim and proper voice in our head tries to tell us otherwise.
“Our self-care are simply acts of privilege.” Jesus Christ, never realised that my privilege would manifest itself in my choice to have a quiet night in watching Love Island. That guilt-tripping drives me to the point of popping a blood vessel in my head.
Why can’t self-care be a destination in itself? That’s the whole point! You do something nice to yourself because it’s nice and will help you feel better. Does everything have to be a tool for a greater societal change? How about that taking care of yourself and your needs makes you feel better and therefore more prepared to take on whatever life throws at you? To me that sounds like a pretty good thing from society’s point of view.
It’s an oxymoron by nature and that’s why it makes me so angry. If someone is doing something for themselves by themselves, how in the world is it anyone else’s business?
Also, ‘the products for self-care.’ You can use ALL of these things to take care of yourself! Please ignore the fact that they are by my sponsors, I just happen to like them anyway!
I don’t care what any lifestyle blogger says, I might as well be burning a £50 note if I were to spend it on a fucking candle. This scent is called ‘stupid financial choices.’ You can get perfectly reasonably priced scented candles from both online and offline shops.
The same with a pair of cosy slippers. There’s no need, ever, for anyone to spend £60 on a pair of slippers. I have a lovely pair of unicorn slippers that make me smile whenever I put them on, and they only cost me a tenner. I can’t imagine feeling very good about my self-care if it ate the little money I had left in the first place.
Also this idea that you’re not supposed to wear pyjamas during daytime. This is a pet peeve, just because I don’t like the idea that someone tells me that the way I choose to make myself comfortable, even though it’s not self-destructive or excessive behaviour, is wrong. I know that this helps some people to stay motivated but I don’t think that there is anything wrong with staying in your pyjamas if they make you feel better.
Why would I change into day clothes if I’m going to stay at home all day, not speak to anyone in person and I find them more comfortable? Because the #selfcarepolice says so!
You don’t need to spend any money to take care of yourself. Just go for a walk and take in your surroundings, write down nice things people have said about you or have a cuddle with an animal. Or don’t. I’m not going to make myself sound a hypocrite by saying that my way of doing things is any better. But there are dozens of great online resources for self-care techniques that are free both in financial sense and of guilt. Or don’t listen to anyone else, just do you if it means you’re not hurting yourself or anyone else.
For the love of god, can we just keep one thing nice for once?