The internet recently began buzzing about a new social media trend that took off among Black men.
Centered on highlighting and promoting a “soft” lifestyle, the videos show Black men simply going about their day-to-day routine—and there are quite a few examples floating around!
The Trend Takes Off On TikTok
Uploads that followed the trend showed men engaging in soothing activities, like caring for houseplants, drinking tea, or just chillin’.
what self-care looked like today 🧘🏽♂️ the soft life of a black man. #softlife #blackmen #cleantok #cleaningtiktok #healthyliving #booktok #plantdad #xyzbca #fyp #foryourpage #dailyroutine #dayinmylife
♬ Too Much – Drake
the soft life of a black man 🧘🏽♂️ just keep going 🌿 #fyp #softlife #blackmen #healthyhabits #dailyroutine #xyzbca #dayinmylife #vlogger #dailyvlog
♬ original sound – RetroBands
Soft Boy Era #softboy #softboyaesthetic #softboyaesthetic #blackboy #softblackboy #softblackman #performer #tinyhome #dc
♬ original sound – Shapiro
Working out and having hobbies like bowling and podcasting were included, too.
At my best when I’m in my element
♬ Crew Love – Drake
the soft life of a black man 🧘🏽♂️ spend the day with me. #fyp #fup #softlife #dayinmylife #vlogger #spendthedaywithme #dailyvlog #blackmen #xyzbca #greenscreen #healthyroutine
♬ Coi Leray Players DJ Saige Mashup – Saige
Some contributions made by a user going by @nicenonns are focused on showing what “dinner with a soft Black man” looks like.
Choosing the path of less stress and least resistance. #mentalhealth #foryou #asmr #cookingtok
♬ In A Sentimental Mood – Duke Ellington & John Coltrane
Hope everyone has an amazing week #Foryou
♬ I’ll Wait and Pray – John Coltrane
“Soft” “Soft life” – Originated in the Nigerian community as a slang for living a life of comfort and low stress. #tjmaxx #foryou #mentalhealth
♬ Amore mio aiutami – Main Theme – Piero Piccioni
All in all, most videos of the trend were pretty straightforward and focused on calling attention to the “soft” life.
the soft life of a black man ☕️ what’s a morning routine without coffee and a good book. #fyp #xyzbca #dayinmylife #softlife #blackmen #vlogger #booklover #morningroutine #healthyhabits #foryourpage #2023 #dailyvlog
♬ IN THE AIR speed – cloudz/Solar🧚🏾♀️☁️🏎
Reposting because TikTok put a warning label on this video even though I’m literally not doing anything dangerous lol? Anyways, I choose to live a soft life lol #softlife #gay #viral
♬ original sound – ChannDaily 🏳️🌈
the soft life of a black man 🧘🏽♂️ fellas, the soft life isn’t just for women. it’s for you too! take care of yourself. no need to be hard, or guarded, or getting wrapped in “grind culture.” slow down and take care of yourself.🌿 #fyp #apartmenttherapy #cleaningtiktok #softlife #dayinthelife #cleaninghacks #vlogger #dailyroutine #plantdad
♬ Lil Uzi Vert SHELLS JUNE MIX – JUNE! (fka Shawn May)
Viewers Have Mixed Reactions
As the trend continued to take off, people began chiming in on other platforms like Twitter.
Many critics found the videos to be pretty mundane, as they were focused on showing “an adult doing things that adults do.”
All I see is an adult doing things that adults do.
— Dantley Davis (@dantley) January 1, 2023
💯 exactly.. niggas gotta clean crib and calling it soft life lol
— City Wolf (@blackviking80) January 1, 2023
It was even alleged that there was “something sinister about [TikTok] turning every basic action into a life aesthetic or personality trait.”
Not trying to be dramatic here, but there’s something sinister about Tik Tok turning every basic action into a life aesthetic or personality trait lmao https://t.co/Yp7nNWYI2n
— masc potatoes (@CertifiedFool_) January 1, 2023
However, others thought the trend was “cute” and simply looked like “peace, happiness, and success.”
Looks like peace, happiness, and success.
Sign me up.
— Josh 😈 (@Revuhnant) January 1, 2023
I think it’s cute lmao pic.twitter.com/oSIgwpEwGk
— ᴅɪᴀʀʏ ᴏғ 𝓢𝓱𝓪𝓷𝓙𝓸𝓻 (@xoshanjor) December 31, 2022
Overall, supporters thought the backlash was strange, as the “soft life” trend was all about promoting chillness.
I’m confused . This seem like a chilled ass day . Why the backlash ? 🙁
— Mike Berbick (@BankonBerb) January 1, 2023
On the other end of the spectrum, it was asserted that the overall trend is “inherently racist” at its core, as it applauds Black men for “doing the bare minimum” with adulting.
junk so lame bro. #fyp #softblackman #effeminizationoftheblackmale
♬ original sound – siah
Users also called for “a particular brand of bullying” to be brought back. Similarly, others implored people to leave the trend in 2022, as “we used to build and hunt.”
Nah for real. Because what the hell is going on around here?
— Bake The Flake (@ShakeNBake_3) January 1, 2023
Being an adult with responsibilities and a dog is soft life 🤨
Bring bullying back 😂
— El Tejano (@shotbydez) January 1, 2023
SOFT LIFE BLACK MAN 😂😂😂 WE CARRY THE STRONGEST BLOODLINE #fyp #softlife #trending #2023 #blacktiktok
♬ NOPE SO SUPA – SO SUPA ⚡️🥷
Are you here for the “soft life as a Black man” trend, and what do you think about the criticism against it?