Secret-cations and Four Other Things to Stop Shaming Ourselves


Secret-cation. Are you taking one this year? Have you taken one? I came across the idea in a New York Times article that talked about how people were taking vacations in secret. They didn’t want to be scrutinized or criticized for taking a vacation while others don’t or can’t, so that means no sharing on social media or even talking about it. As a travel professional, that makes me sad. We shouldn’t have to travel in secret. Travel is a joyful thing, even if it’s just an hour to another town. Taking a vacation isn’t something to be ashamed of.  The “secret-cation” comes from a long line of activities that we think or more specifically, that others think are shameful. With everything that is happening in our lives, I think it’s time to stop shaming ourselves and others. In addition to secret-cations, here are four other things we need to stop shaming ourselves about.

Body hair

Last year, I wrote about the rising trend of women embracing their body hair by not shaving . Historically, for women, facial hair,  underarm hair, leg hair, and pubic hair have been associated with hygiene. Men aren’t faced with that same issue. There are more hairy men walking around than hairy women.  Everyone grows hair. If you love your body hair, keep it. If you don’t, there are lots of ways to eliminate it. In other words, shave if you feel like it.


It’s normal. It’s natural. It’s fun. Sex isn’t dirty, whether you go solo with the adult toys or are with a partner. Be educated. Be honest. We won’t know what we want or don’t want from sex unless we talk about sex. Talk about sex with your circle of friends or your partner/spouse. Ask the hard questions (pun intended).

Our body shapes

One of the best lessons I can teach my daughters is to love their own bodies and “feel as good as hell about it.” I tell Ilse every day that everyone is made differently. No two bodies are the same. I want her to embrace her body as it is, not change it for something she sees on YouTube or at school. I can’t be like Kate Moss or Salma Hayek, but I can love the body I have, flaws and all.

Career choices

As working parents, we sometimes question our career choices or are questioned about our career choices. Could we have done more in the past to have more money now? With my industry being decimated by the pandemic, I’ve often thought about switching industries for something a little more recession-proof; and I return to the same conclusion: I love what I do. So I am making the most of it. 

Shame is everywhere around us, and we feel it even more now with COVID-19 because of the  choices we make as parents.  When we shame ourselves or others, who do we benefit? Does shaming ever fix anything? It certainly does not make others feel better. It’s just another way to tear ourselves or others down. Sometimes, shaming is just mean. Let’s do ourselves a favor and stop shaming ourselves and others for taking vacations, growing out our body hair, having (or not having) sex, or embracing our bodies and careers. Let’s feel good about ourselves and lift each other up, because there is no joy in shame.

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Jeanne is a married, full-time working mom with an MBA in Marketing from Golden Gate University and BA in Communications from San Francisco State University. She is an Associate Director of Sales for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and loves that her career enables her to promote the city she loves. Jeanne and her husband Daniel live in San Francisco with their two daughters, Ilse and Alice. When Jeanne is not working, writing, or volunteering at Ilse's school, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, and cooking from her collection of cookbooks (70 and growing) while sipping Hudson Bay Bourbon. Follow her adventures on Instagram.


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