Self Care Rituals Should Not Be A Source Of Shame

Illustration by Lindsay Hattrick

The critiques are often gendered, and usually unwarranted

When I'm having a particularly bad mental health day, even the smallest things can make me feel better—and, since I'm a stereotypical #broke #millennial, the cheaper the thing, the better. I'm a sucker for a face mask or bath after the kind of long day (or week, or month) that's been riddled with anxiety flares and depressive episodes—or both. But, something often happens when I get out a bath bomb, or when I'm choosing which face mask would be best for my current skin situation: I feel a twinge of shame. This shame stems from many things, but one is that I worry people are judging me, assuming that my self-care routine is trivial and unimportant.

This might sound like I'm just dealing with my own anxiety about my routines, but the shaming of self-care is real—and it's gendered, with everything from typically women-oriented things like skin-care rituals to pumpkin spice lattes coming under attack. But this isn't just about wanting to get a good face mask selfie for Instagram. Self-care is incredibly important, says Katie Krimer, a licensed therapist at the Union Square Practice. "Even the smallest of gestures can help reduce overall stress, make you feel more present amidst anxiety, and remind you that you're worth taking care of." She says that in her practice, she encourages her clients to participate in acts of self-care as often as she can. "Whether it's a difficult experience we're going through, or we're consistently struggling with mental health issues, acts of self-care are our opportunity to take ourselves out of the worries that seem to take hostage of our mental states."

When we don't allow ourselves to participate in acts of self-care that may help us recover from a particularly stressful week, or by ignoring our own needs, she says, we could be permanently damaging our own understanding of our self-worth. "Devaluing the importance of self-care will make it less likely that we will make the choice to engage in these moments where we take time for ourselves outside of our busy and stressful lives," Krimer says. "It can damage our perception of why it is needed and even make us believe that we don't need breaks to recuperate from our struggles." By not allowing ourselves to relax, or by conditioning ourselves to think that we don't need time to relax and recover in the ways we like best, we "may encourage continuing to sit in our negativity, or work too much, or give too much of ourselves on a regular basis."

And, after a while, this idea that we don't need or deserve to indulge in acts of self-care can cause us to think that we need to feel constant stress in order to be our best. "Stigmatizing practices that make us feel better encourages the belief that we may not need nor be deserving of taking time to tend to ourselves," says Krimer, noting the impact that shying away from self-care can have. "This can lead to us prioritizing things in our life that actually lead to stress and mental health issues."

Krimer notes that this is the result of associating shame with our own self-care practices, and that "creating shame around self-care will have negative impacts on us that will either prevent us from partaking in self-care practices, or, if we do, we may try to hide them or feel very guilty about engaging in them." If we allow this shame to work its way into our subconscious understanding of self-care and indulging in acts of kindness for ourselves, she says, "we may start to associate self-care with something that is fundamentally 'bad' or 'wrong' to do, and this can even make us feel as though we're somehow weak or selfish if we choose ourselves sometimes."

Not only that, but, Krimer says, by feminizing and then problematizing acts of self-care, it cuts men off from these sources of pleasure as well. "Self-care can be almost anything you want it to be, as long as the intention is to take time for yourself and detach from the stresses and pains of the day-to-day," Krimer says. "Part of the issue may be that the definition of self-care isn't wide or diverse enough to be more inclusive." This can turn other genders off of the practice of self-care, yes, but it can also prove detrimental to women who find joy in things like splurging on something that will make them feel better in the moment—an act which can have a huge long-term effect, and lead to real burnout.

Taking care of yourself is necessary, no matter what anyone says. Put on a face mask, and let yourself relax, even if only for a little while.

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube

Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video)

Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.