Inclusivity in the Health & Wellness World
The other day, I read an article from SELF discussing how nutritionists, health bloggers, and food bloggers can make the health and wellness world more inclusive. I’ve spoken before on my blog and Instagram about the privilege I possess and how I hope to always create an inclusive, welcoming space. However, as much as I hope to do that, I know many people cannot find that currently on my platform.
I am thin, white, able bodied, and have easy access to a gym, local organic grocery stores, and good doctors. I have a strong support system of friends and family and while I worry about budgeting and supporting myself, I know there would be people to support me if I needed assistance. And a lot of this shows on my Instagram and blog: my recipes often include pricier ingredients like collagen, cacao, and almond butter. The photos I take often show me out to eat or wearing brand name fitness clothes. But this message may not connect to many people on Instagram, even if they too have experienced an eating or exercise disorder. The fact that we have this in common probably does not come through with just a glance at my account. And the fact that I have access to all of these resources may make it seem to many that I am where I am today because I was able to afford xyz.
And I would be lying if I said that isn’t true. I am extremely grateful for my friends’ and family’s support- both financial and emotional- when I was facing orthorexia nervosa. But my mission with Straight to the Butze has always been to show others that they aren’t alone through authenticity and vulnerability- to empower others to find their own personal sense of balance, whatever that looks like or whatever that includes.
But acknowledging privilege isn’t enough, especially in a sector of the health world that is truly saturated with images of individuals that all look the same even though health comes in all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. Yes, we all have various experiences and identities, but what are we doing to make sure everyone has a voice and sees themselves in a message? In a photo?
From now on, there are a few things I am going to commit to:
I am going to bring back #wellnesswednesdays to showcase individuals from across the health and wellness sphere. I will show different approaches to health, different backgrounds that influence culinary styles, and overall just different individuals to truly help individuals discover their balance.
I am going to promote user generated content more. For any of my followers that want to share their story with the health and wellness community, tag me with the hashtag or on your post and share your message. You can use a photo or not, but just let me know what you think is valuable for the community to see or read.
I will be more mindful of alternative practices and approaches to situations, taking into consideration more than just financial difficulties. Because like the SELF articles said, just because someone lives near an affordable gym, doesn’t mean they are comfortable going for a whole variety of reasons that many of us cannot begin to understand.
I truly want my space to be your space. I want it to be a space filled with comfort and authenticity and respect for individuals everywhere. I also want to be held accountable. Please, call me out if anything ever is not inclusive. I want to learn and I want to do better.