Society’s obsession with wellness has gone too far

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The notion of a Kardashian member promoting a wellness-fad for a poorly judged ad deal fails to surprise any reader. One sees it time and time again.

There was Kim’s ridiculous Instagram promotion of the Flat Tummy Co’s appetite suppressant lollipops, the sister’s glorification of waist trainers, restrictive diets which cut out entire food groups and the list just goes on. Kourtney Kardashian has recently released a line of ‘wellness’ gummies. This venture is particularly interesting given the emphasis on overall health and wellness, as opposed to weight loss. It signifies a shift in the current trends regarding health and diet.

‘Wellness culture’ is growing exponentially on TikTok, and other socials. Often masked behind a guise of gut health, or hormone balancing, the videos typically feature young and conventionally attractive women who have undergone a transformation by following this wellness lifestyle.

Weight loss usually comes with this, but the focus tends to be on the overall improvement to one’s health, such as skin, hair, menstrual cycle, energy levels and mental health. I can’t help but see this shift as ‘diet-culture’ repackaged.

Part of writing this piece involved redownloading the infamous TikTok app to determine how saturated my feed would be with this wellness culture content.

The result? Overwhelming.

A huge facet of content creation on the app is making videos that will garner clicks, and thus, eventually, AdSense. Therefore, it should strike no one as a surprise that many diet and fitness influencers are moving over to wellness trends in order to stay relevant and of course, keep raking in those views. Many of these creators aren’t qualified to give information regarding diet or fitness, but that doesn’t inhibit them doing so to impressionable audiences. 

It’s not just influencers perpetuating this cycle either. Many young women can see the popularity of jumping on trends such as gut health diets, or Pilates for optimum weight loss, and thus the content creation vortex is formed. Here we see people formulating e-books, guides, apps, or newsletters all stemming from a miraculous transformation attributed to a one-size fits all lifestyle change. What is the common denominator in all of this? Money. The number one way to squeeze money out of young women’s pockets is by playing on their insecurities.

The number one way to squeeze money out of young women’s pockets is by playing on their insecurities

This movement speaks to a wider post-pandemic society, which is becoming overly obsessed with wellness. 

There is undoubtably some good being done within this wider exploitation, one example being the emphasis women’s health: a topic which before now, has been criminally misunderstood.

I have noticed a lot of information circulating regarding educating women on their menstrual cycles, and as a result, training in alignment with their cycle for optimum performance and health benefits. This is good. I genuinely view this kind of content as a step towards promoting health and wellness, and acts as an example of how truly informative TikTok, and the likes of it, can be in educating women on topics they haven’t been exposed to. 

Yet, the sheer number of self-proclaimed nutritionists and exercise experts on the app concerns me. For many adolescents using the app, this distinction between expert and someone who sounds as though they know their stuff, becomes murky. Thus, many adults also fail to make the distinction. If you have a young, toned, and vibrant model claiming that cutting out dairy and running 5k each day will improve your gut health, armed with a transformation picture of herself, then the reality is that most would surmise it to be true. 

Viewers want fast solutions to their insecurities, and creators want to make money. It’s a recipe for disaster, following years of pandemic isolation and irreversible damage done to people’s relationships with diet and exercise. 

Viewers want fast solutions to their insecurities, and creators want to make money

People need to be over critical of the content they are consuming. Is this person trying to sell you a product, or intriguing you to check out more of their content for increased clarification on a topic? Does a certain account make you feel self-conscious or guilty? Is the person that you are taking information from, a reputable source- have they linked their resources, are they qualified?

There is a certain degree of responsibility involved when viewing content online which has the power to influence one’s decisions. 

Whilst the wellness trend can be incredibly beneficial to many aspects of our lives and is a considerable improvement on weight loss or appetite suppressants, we must be careful not to allow it to morph into another example of diet culture, or simply consumerism. 

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One thought on “Society’s obsession with wellness has gone too far

  • I think it’s important to be active anyway, and it’s better to avoid strict diets and implement some activity in your daily routine. For instance, I started running not so long ago, and Step App helps me stay motivated and make sure that I’m actually progressing. Its move-to-earn concept is quite attractive, and this app has a huge potential for sure.

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