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However you think of wellness, there’s some part of this burgeoning industry that you’ve likely taken part in on a regular basis. Yoga classes, meditation apps, clean-eating meal services -- even the bath bombs and palo santo-scented candles you get from T.J. Maxx are considered an investment in your personal well-being.
Capitalizing on the ideas of self-care, proper mental health and giving your body what it needs, the wellness space has enveloped a lot of how we live our lives. More and more emphasis is being put on a person’s need to take a break, put themselves first and prioritize healthy bodies and minds above what’s previously been considered measures of success, like long work days or eventful social outings.
You would think that this space has room for all -- after all, every human needs a healthy amount of self-love in their lives. But if you look closer, you’d find a white-washed industry laden with socially “correct” standards: thin bodies, blemish-free skin, the most top-rated products on the market.
The Black community already has less access to mental health care despite needing it at least 20 percent more than the general population, and being paired with a therapist that wholly understands your life experiences isn’t guaranteed. Because the Black population is battling these inherent prejudices, a personal way to fight their demons could -- should -- be a welcome escape.
But at just a very quick glance, it’s obvious why we don’t see as many Black women in meditation classes or at nutrition workshops: the systems are at work against them.
When it comes down to it, Black women aren’t represented in the wellness space nearly as much as they should and deserve to be, and it’s not for lack of need or trying. For one, it’s an expensive undertaking; the global wellness industry is worth $4.5 trillion made up of monthly studio fees as costly as some rent payments and workout clothes that aren’t considered worth wearing unless you’re sporting a very specific logo or two (lookin’ at you, lululemon).
“Mainstream wellness is still very white and very elitist,” Chrissy King, a Black Brooklyn-based fitness expert, told TODAY. “By and large, they still only market to white, thin women.”
Despite already being at a disadvantage, Black women have been pushing themselves into the industry, making their voices and experiences heard in an area where so many other Black women need to hear them. If you consider yourself a nutrition expert, yoga aficionado or meditation junkie, these influential women should be on your radar.