dear instagram, wellness is not for sale.

some recent thoughts on the “wellness” industry

a not-so-recent picture of me hiking, in the “before” times.

true wellness is not capital.

it is inherent, developed slowly from within, grown from seeds of gradual change, unable to be accelerated by a sixteen digit number emblazoned on plastic.


44.7 million posts.

i look at instagram and i don’t feel well at all. (but i can’t put the scrolls of bright, happy images down.)

you can’t sell me a way to feel better, or the presence of mind to create an enjoyable life.

a picture of a skinny girl eating a salad does nothing to contribute to my calm.

how does watching a boney blonde girl jump-rope in the snow make me more healthy?

her outfit cost more than my mortgage last month.

if a bottle of colorful gummies could cure anxiety, wouldn’t we all have started eating them by now?

there’s nothing you could advertise that will give me inner peace.

sixty minutes of yoga asana won’t make long trapped emotional pain diffuse.

your bath bomb isn’t going to make my problems dissolve in the hot water.

self-care isn’t a box that comes in the mail every month for $9.99.

you can’t buy community, you have to make your own sangha.

therapy isn’t a trend. it’s not “cool.” it’s necessary.

you can’t purchase sleep that’s free from nightmares.

or reverse your life problems with essential oils.

wellness ≠ thinness.

do you really want to be thin because it means that you’re “healthy”? (it doesn’t.)

actually, you want people to stop making uninvited comments about your body.

actually, you want people to stop making negative assumptions about your health.

do you really want to be well?

do you really want to choose wellness?

to choose:

to nourish your body when society says to let yourself starve?

to stop replacing meals with chemical compounds?

to come to terms with the fact that your healthiest body might not be your thinnest body?

to go grocery shopping and fill bags with vegetables instead of taking a bag of fries through a fast food window?

to go outside and sit in the sun, or the rain, or the snow instead of burrowing indoors in fear?

to give up gossip and petty words for satya and meditation?

to go to sleep early and prioritize rest over netflix binges?

to get up in the morning and salute the sun?

to work hard to build habits every day, even when it would be easier to “treat yourself”?

to build friendships that can endure uncomfortable conversations and hard feelings?

do you really want to be well?

or do you just want people to perceive you as participating in “wellness”?

because that’s what’s “cool” right now and helps you gain social capital?

do you really want to be well?

(it’s okay if the answer is “no.”)

it really is okay if the answer is no.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s