When I am not writing about my parenting fails, pitching TV shows, designing logos and stuff, making art, teaching fitness classes or working my full-time job as an acting teacher in South Central, I write about wellness for Groomed LA.
I'm bombarded with new cutting-edge information, technologies and practitioners of all kinds in the fields of the healing arts. When stuff feels scientifically valid, backed by proof and credentials, I'm open to hearing about the latest thing that will make our lives better like sleeping devices (didn't work) and slimming coffee creamer (didn't work either). I'm also open to modalities that aren't always scientifically backed, because well, I live in Los Angeles. Yes, I even go for some of the more woo-woo ones, like sound baths (best nap ever), breath work (I'm an actress which means I'm a certified Hatha yoga instructor) and psychic readings (never turned down a free one).
But lately I feel bombarded by a strain of self-betterment that's being pushed on us women and I have to call bullshit on it: It's the goddess thing.
You know what I'm talking about. It's not just yoga studio T-shirt slogans and Insta-quotes toting goddess-related #vibes. Everywhere I turn, women are being sold on how to be a women.
Don't be a sucker. You're an amazing woman and no one needs to teach you how to be one.
Recently I was invited to attend an "embrace your inner goddess" weekend retreat, taught by a "world famous Tantra teacher." I was excited to learn things like how to have a million orgasms in less than a minute and whatever else I imagined Tantra to be. But before I could learn these techniques (turns out there aren't any, in fact I learned nothing about orgasms or, well, anything), apparently I had to learn how to embrace my "inner goddess."
Who is this inner goddess? Oh! Turns out, she's just me. Boring!
To grant entry into this secret "goddess" club first were required to learn some secret breath work (deep breathing is what us mortals call it), hold hands on each other's hearts while making "deep eye contact" (there's a scene in "Annie Hall" like this) and then give ourselves breast massages. This was not the stupidest thing I've ever done in my life only because I fell into a deep sleep when I finally stopped worrying if the coconut oil we used to lube up our tits was staining my shirt. Even with Tantra Goddess dancing around the cold, hotel meeting room, gyrating to Rhianna and knocking back margaritas, I was able to catch a much-needed quick snooze, and all moms know the value of a nap. Still, it wasn't worth the hefty ($1,200 plus) price tag of this seminar.
This is when it hit me. What a crock of snake oil this goddess culture is. Women—innocent, gullible and yes semi-pathetic—were flying in from Seattle and South Africa and paying over mega bucks for the biggest dose of bullshit: to learn how to embrace their inner goddess? WHAT IS THAT?
Everywhere we turn, we are being told we need to buy into learning how to embrace our inner goddess, which I'm pretty sure is just a new-age word for woman.
Let me get this straight. I need to PAY to LEARN how to be a woman? Wasn't that milk shooting out of my tits giving life to a brand new human proof enough that me and my body know exactly what we are doing?
Even if you have never been pregnant or birthed a baby, you are naturally a "warrior goddess." I'm pretty sure that bleeding from you vagina once a month grants you free admission!
Forget the week in Bali (price tag $5,500 without airfare) to learn to breathe into our womanhood. You can do it in your very own bathroom while inserting a tampon. Inhale. "I am woman." Exhale. "Thanks, but I don't need your Goddess Workshop to show me how. I'll save my money for important things like food for my kids."
We are being sucker-punched into buying into this because we're running out of stuff to buy into. Remember when you were a new mom and every product that ever existed to make "life easier" was being sold to you? How much of that crap did you really use? A breast pump and ... ? It's all part of the big picture of materialism and another way to exploit vulnerable women. We've bought the make up, the hair products and the plastic surgery.
What's left? "Oh! How about we just sell womanhood. In general!"