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Embracing your emotional self without judgment has never been so beautiful.

If you're gonna get real, this is a great way to do it.

Embracing your emotional self without judgment has never been so beautiful.

Who can deny the release and relief of a good cry? Go on, admit it. I won't tell anyone.

Yet many of us (and often men in particular) are culturally shamed away from showing the kind of vulnerability or softness — in other words, our mushy side.

That's exactly why we need artist Lora Mathis' series "Radical Softness." It's a celebration of the mushier side of life and a challenge to our culture that places stoic maleness on a pedestal.



Image via Lora Mathis, used with permission.

The images are an ongoing series of beautiful, saturated florals, with pointed, smart, and incisive statements superimposed on vases, journals, and walls.

But what exactly is radical softness?

"Radical softness is the idea that sharing your emotions is a political move and a tactic against a society which prioritizes a lack of emotions," Lora said.

Go on.

"Our society equates toughness to being guarded and devoid of feelings. It writes off emotional reactions, especially those of femmes, as over-dramatic and invalid. I was sick of feeling weak for being emotional and struggling."

Image via Lora Mathis, used with permission.

I first found Lora's work on Tumblr, where over 2,500 people have liked or shared her work. Lora also has a popular Etsy store called staysoft, where she presents her empowering, sensitive, and fierce art.

"The work is meant to show that strength doesn't have to mean swallowing your emotions. There's strength in healing and vulnerability. There's power in softness."


Image via Lora Mathis, used with permission.

She's right.

There's so much power in softness. By showing that side of ourselves, we humans can be reminded of our own humanity. I'm not saying that means we should all cry all the time ... but if we do, there's nothing wrong with it.


Image via Lora Mathis, used with permission.

"Strength does not have to mean turning off how you feel and being guarded," Lora said.

"It can be sharing yourself openly," she added. "It can be putting energy into healing. It can be documenting your vulnerability in order to make others feel less alone. It can be refusing to be sorry for how you feel."

Image via Lora Mathis, used with permission.

If you think about it, not crying, emoting, or showing your feelings at all is oppressive to everyone. It's tough on the person who feels like they can't show their feelings, and it's tough on their family and friends left forever wondering, "What's going on in there?"

Lora's art is meant to answer that question and provide prompts for others as they heal and express themselves, just as she does.

"The statements pop into my head as I think about my healing process," Lora said. "My instinct when I break down is to beat myself up for reacting that way."

"The phrases act as personal reminders me that it is OK to have a hard time and cry and be soft," she explained.

And Lora's not stopping there. Aside from her Etsy shop, she's working on an art piece on "Radical Softness" for a traveling show this winter and spring through Alt Space in Brooklyn.

Image via Lora Mathis, used with permission.

Though, as Lora said, she creates her work to "process [her] feelings and heal," the more her art spreads, the more she hears from people it has touched.

"When others reach out to tell me how my work has affected them, it proves that work is bigger than the feelings that inspired it."

May every semi-emotionally-repressed person please notice just how much love there is out there for you, your tears, and your humanity.

I'm sharing this in case there's someone who needs to know that.

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

via Brittany Kinley / Facebook

Brittany Kinley, a mother from Mansfield, Texas, had a hilarious mom fail her and she's chalking it up to being just another crazy thing that happened in 2020.

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
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Back in 2017, when white supremacist Richard Spencer was socked in the face by someone wearing all black at Trump's inauguration, it launched an online debate, "Is it OK to punch a Nazi?"

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via UDOT / Facebook

In December 2018, The Utah Department of Transportation opened the largest wildlife overpass in the state, spanning 320 by 50 feet across all six lanes of Interstate 80.

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The Salt Lake Tribune reports that there were over 100 animal incidents on the interstate since 2016, giving the stretch of highway the unfortunate nickname of "Slaughter Row."

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