Jewelry, as we know, can be heavily symbolic. Yet most of that design symbolism has focused on traditional institutions and values (love, marriage, etc.).
But we do occasionally see other efforts like the “self-love pinky ring,” which was invented last year by Los Angeles entrepreneur Melody Godfred.
The ring came about as the result of a purchase she made for herself.
“I had twin girls,” she says. “I had completely fallen off my own priority list. I thought: Why not a ring to remind me to take care of myself?
“Every time I look at my engagement ring, I think of my husband, of my marriage. Every time I looked at this ring, I thought: What are you going to do today to take care of yourself? Are you going to exercise today? Are you going to get together with friends? For me, the change was so immediate and so strong. I felt I had to do something with this.”
The ring is comprised of lab-created sapphires in the shapes of trilliants, and was made for the pinky—an oft-neglected finger, Godfred says.
Women who buy it are supposed to sign a pledge card, with which they “pinky promise…to honor myself, to choose myself, to remember myself on a daily basis.” They are urged to post their pledge on social media.
“We have built a really powerful community,” says Godfred, noting that thousands of pinky ring–wearers now regularly communicate via Instagram.
She says she’s struck by the women who have embraced the ring—from high schoolers and senior citizens to mothers buying them for their daughters.
“We had a woman who contacted us, said in her country if a woman isn’t married by 25 she’s almost relegated to second-class-citizen status. They consider her not a woman anymore. For her, the ring was a way to reclaim her worth. We also have a woman who wrote a beautiful blog post that says she always dreamed of getting married at Disneyland. So she got the ring and went to Disneyland and celebrated a commitment to herself.”
For now, the ring is exclusively sold through the website of her company, Fred + Far, though she’s exploring wholesale possibilities.
“Jewelry has been about the surface,” she says. “I think there is a real opportunity to use jewelry to inspire women to connect with their authentic self. When you see a woman with this pinky ring, you know that she is a chosen woman. And she has chosen herself.”