Culture May 5, 2017
You really have no idea what we want.
“We love making single women look and feel beautiful while empowering and inspiring them,” reads the mission statement of subscription box SingleSwag.
You know what makes single women feel empowered? Not constantly being reminded that they’re single, as if that’s their sole identifying characteristic.
Another bugaboo with this female champion of subscription boxes is that it was created by a man — a fun piece of information conveniently left off of the website.
Yeah, a 30-something man named Jonathan Beskin founded the company whose “About Us” shouts, “We love single women!” Cool. But, like a lot of men, Jonathan, you have no idea what they want.
Look, I’ll admit it, I love these subscription boxes. They’re great. You forget about them, and then it’s like surprise presents in the mail each month. My sister and I both unknowingly got each other (different) subscription boxes for Christmas this year. It’s clearly a growing trend. But you still have to know your audience.
My sister loves the one I sent her because she’s studying physical therapy and it’s a monthly subscription of healthy snacks — and for each box purchased, at least one meal gets donated to a food bank. I’m slightly less wholesome… my sister got me subscription to a wine club — LOL. What can I say, she knows her sister well.
To get back to the point, if you want to cater to empowering women, load the boxes with How-To books and memoirs from inspiring women, products created by successful women, products that will make a busy woman’s day easier, etc. Example – I was intrigued by a subscription box of hair ties and bobby pins becaues I’m somehow always misplacing bobby pins. It’s not super gimmicky or cute, but it’s helpful.
Put some bobby pins, Tina Fey’s “Bossypants,” a Swell bottle, a Kylie Jenner lip kit, pepper spray and a Sprinkles cupcake together and that’s an empowering women’s box I can get behind.
But don’t act like just because I’m single that every day of my life is like Valentine’s Day and my boyfriend broke up with me just before the school dance. Like, these boxes come with cartoonish socks with things like “It’s not me. It’s you.” written on either foot, boxes of cookies, designer nail wraps and fancy soap.
I’m not going to lie and say I don’t like to do my nails, but I’m also not in a constant state of depression just because I’m single. I know this is going to sound like some sort of a mantra we do at the meetings for the single women’s support group I’m guessing men think we have, but single women aren’t sad women. We’re literally just living our lives without partners.
I mean, this company’s Instagram is insane. “Today’s mood: cranky with a touch of psycho.” That’s empowering? I don’t think so. Or “Current relationship status. Made dinner for two. Ate both.” And this one along the same lines, “How about we take this to the bedroom? I whispered to my snacks.” HAHAHA. Single women are so lonely and sad they not only eat their feelings but they pretend food IS their boyfriend! OMG, I’m dying.
Another box is “mani E.R.,” a scarf, body wash, nail polish, a box of cookies and a foldable, to-go container that holds an entire bottle of wine. Please, someone tell me how that is empowering to single women and does not simply contribute to stereotypes that we’re sad, lonely cookie monsters with alcohol problems.
But what do I know, right? I’m just one of those depressing singletons. And my period is probably stirring up my wild emotions anyway. Thank god there are caring, helpful men like Beskin around to help me through this difficult time in my life.
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