February 25, 2020

Self-Care As Status Symbol

“First came the “Money Diaries”: lifestyle magazine Refinery 29’s eye-popping series that offered a peek into the private lives of privileged millennials. Its most infamous diary entry, “A Week in New York City on $25/Hour,” nearly broke the internet last summer as readers huffed over the oblivious privilege of a 21-year-old intern living in New York City who spent thousands on acai bowls and trips to the Hamptons — belatedly revealing that her family gifted her $3,200 for expenses and rent on top of her meager intern wage.

Refinery29’s editors must have noticed a common thread in the spending habits of these diarists, in that most women were spending a hefty percentage of their incomes on “self-care” — yoga classes, Soul Cycle, vitamins, face masks and the like. Thus, they’ve inaugurated a new series, the “Feel Good Diaries,” to succeed the Money Diaries.

In this new series, Refinery29 purports to chronicle “the physical and mental wellness routines of women today, their costs, and whether or not these self-care rituals actually make you feel good.” The entries, similar to their money blog counterparts, span a range of incomes, occupations and locations. There is the 28-year-old Los Angeles–based publicist who makes $75,000 a year, but who spent $2,003 on her wellness routine in a single week. This included a 50-pack of workout classes at Barry’s Bootcamp, private surf lessons, lunch at Sweetgreen, and falling asleep with the help of an essential oil diffuser. Then there is the 25-year-old administrative assistant in Nashville who spent $454.93 on her wellness routine in one week (her annual income is $25,000). This included collagen peptides, a gratitude journal, a dinner with friends, and boxing classes.”

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