Embracing Slow Beauty & Democratizing Self-Care
Self-care is becoming one of those concepts that loses meaning with repetition. Tons of companies mindlessly throw the word around to sell all types of products and experiences, and we’ve lost track of why this idea became relevant in the first place.
Genuinely taking care of ourselves transcends what the wellness industry can offer. Yes, oils and candles are amazing, but certainly, not enough. And that is why we love and support Shel Pink’s intention to elevate this conversation.
Shel is the founder of the vegan brand SpaRitual and author of Slow Beauty: Rituals and Recipes to Nourish the Body and Feed the Soul.
Growing up with a mother that always fostered the importance of a holistic approach to health, she’s been on the wellness journey for as long as she can remember. It’s a passion that seems to only grow stronger with time.
Her Slow Beauty philosophy stemmed from the recognition that the world is not slowing down any time soon, and it’s up to us to set boundaries. With this proposal, she wants to redefine beauty & self-care by turning inward and “creating personal definitions of these concepts at our individual paces, instead of accepting the standards set by consumerism.”
“I believe self-care should come as a consequence of self-love, radical self-acceptance, and letting go of the pursuit of perfection,” Shel told Mindful Feminism.
On that note, she promotes self-care as a birthright for all women, and not just those who can afford it. “When I wrote my book I thought of the importance of creating practices available for all. And that’s why, for example, I provide recipes you can make at home with ingredients available at most local grocery stores".
A lot of self-care trends are astronomically high priced, and it’s intimidating, but Shel wishes people would look past that and embrace simpler ideas. “I want people to create and develop their own, meaningful, self-care practices.” And there are many accessible and reasonably priced ways to start: “taking a bath, drinking a cup of tea, self-love talk, spending time with your friends, or being in nature, all of these are affordable ways to engage in self-care, the list is endless.”
Of course, we had to ask about the relationship of it all with feminism. Shel is inspired by Audre Lorde's idea of self-care as activism and sees this as an essential practice for women. “Self-care is not selfish. Actually, it’s about not giving ourselves away, not compromising, and standing in our power”. For Shel, this is most definitely a feminist issue, “in an ideal world, feminism wouldn’t exist, and the fight for balance would be unnecessary, but that’s not the case, and we need more women who stand in their own sense of empowerment to shift the imbalance and finally achieve gender equality.”
In the patriarchal society we inhabit, "women aren’t typically raised to take care of ourselves, we’re taught to serve and take care of others first, and to not question that.”
Shel trusts that to change this reality and move forward; we need to be more mindful of the way we identify our needs and speak to ourselves. "A lot of times we don’t even know we have needs, so we don’t have the language to express what those are. A vital part of self-care is first identifying what we need and really connecting with that, finding a way to communicate it, and then making it happen".
Dear reader, you deserve self-care -no matter what your circumstances are. Give yourself permission to slow down, breathe, take note of Shel’s wisdom, and answer your soul’s desires.
*This interview has been edited & condensed for clarity.