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Embracing the Soft Girl Era

Elise's stories

I wrote this before I did an online search for “soft girl era” to see what the internet had to say.

What I found is a host of women, lots of GenZ-ers, have embraced this idea, as well:

An era in which a female chooses to only have kind, loving, gentle and supportive people in her life. It is a time where she makes an effort to live in peace, happiness, and calmness. 
- Urban Dictionary

The lens I have been looking through aligns with this definition and also, mostly focuses on ways I am kind, loving, gentle, and supportive of myself.

This miraculous body I have chosen for this life has supported me through so much, but over the years I have placed too much emphasis on what I can see and feel in my physical presence.

Then a shift occurred. In the Fall of 2019 I told my husband:

I’m not sure what’s going to happen with my body. I will likely gain weight. How much, who knows? I’m definitely going to be softer. Like everything in life, this is likely a temporary phase.

But I need to see what happens. 

In order for me to soften the critical parts of my mental and emotional body I have to soften my physical body so they can be in a healthier relationship together.

As someone who has explored ancient practices and medicines most of my life, intellectually I knew the mind + body are linked and they reflect one another, but it became so clear for my journey to soften my body to soften my mind.

You see, at that time I was struggling with Trichotillomania (TTM). It presents itself where I pull out my eyelashes. This began when I was 12 years old. I had no eyelashes for my teenage years. In my early to mid-twenties I was able to start growing some eyelashes a bit where I felt I was healing, slowly, but surely.

Then three months after the birth of my daughter in 2012, they were gone.


I didn’t feel good about myself. I was deeply ashamed, embarrassed and guilt ridden for harming myself in such a way for nearly 30 years.

This was the story of my life. My comfortable hell.

I thought I was taking control by being healthy, working out and pushing myself. 

That’s when I invested in psychotherapy to address this head-on. (In conjunction with my personal yoga practice.)

Then a light bulb moment happened.

The clouds parted and I realized I push myself every day:

  • mothering my two children,
  • building my business and reputation,
  • making major health decisions for my own mom while healing our dysfunctional relationship, and 
  • prioritizing my marriage.

Enough was enough.

Once I gave myself permission to be soft, to rest, to not push through, then things lightened up. 

I began to embrace the story of my life; rather than be resentful or resist.

I honored my body.

This body and my spirit love to be by water, outdoors in the garden, creating beauty in and outside of my home, nurturing my children to be people others enjoy being around, carving out time to be with friends and family I cherish, and making my marriage be my first and last.

I love her. 

She’s so tender; not fragile. She senses deeply. She’s resilient.

So, today, I express myself here as I embrace this softer version of me: inside and out.

I can lean in without holding on.

And despite Michigan shut-downs in 2020+ and the stress that encompassed all of us on various levels - I was able to grow my lashes.

This is new to me.

I haven’t had all my eyelashes at once, long and beautiful since before I was a teenager. 

The last four years have been life-giving to my sense of self. It has deepened my purpose of continuing to help other moms no matter their struggles.

A diagnosis does not define who I am or who you are.

A diagnosis may also be temporary. It does not always mean a life-sentence.

In embracing the soft girl era, I have discovered true strength comes from allowing ourselves to be open and vulnerable; especially with other women. My journey has shown me softness is not a weakness; nor is it being "unhealthy." Rather, a profound source of inner strength.

To all the moms reading this, I encourage you to lean into your softness (whatever that means or manifests for you), to create a sanctuary of peace and love within yourself. I am here to walk with you, should you choose to invite me along your path.

Let this era be a reminder that we can be both strong and gentle, resilient and tender, and that this flow is what makes us truly powerful.

I leave you with these reflections:

  • In what ways can I create a more supportive and gentle environment for myself?
  • How can I honor and appreciate the unique journey and life experiences I have been through?
  • How can I set boundaries to protect my energy and create a safe space for myself and others?