The short answer to that question is: Yes, of course we should.
It's no secret that I believe the health and wellness community doesn't really care about health and wellness. It's common practice in the community to reinforce harmful messages about bodies and perpetuate limited and privliged definitions of "health".
If you take a look around, you'll see that what's currently being offered in many spaces dedicated to 'healing' and 'health' are actually unhelpful at best... and harmful at worst.
It's time for us to move past that.
As more people are waking up to the gross injustices in the world, I believe the demand will grow for health and wellness professionals who challenge the status quo.
There are some fundamental things that consumers should expect from people who claim to help us feel better and improve our well-being.
But we're not getting it.
As a consumer and a helping professional, here's what I'd like to see:
- I want conversations about health and wellness to include how racial and gender inequity, access to affordable, non-discriminatory housing and health care, and ableism impact our well-being.
- I want folks from marginalized groups to be empowered to define well-being for themselves and have the resources to create it.
- I want to see recognition of real systems of oppression that leave too many people out of the health and wellness conversation.
- I want us to explore ways to get properly compensated for our work without feeling like we have to use fear and manipulation to bring in clients.
- I want to be part of a professional community that respects the complexity and messiness of being human.
- I want health and wellness professionals to stop using fat phobia as a tool to sell products and services.
- I want to see more professionals becoming informed and educated on how harmful the lifelong pursuit of thinness is on our bodies, our minds, and our communities.
- I want us to honor the lived experience of our clients and instead of prioritizing our "expertise". Let's be in partnership with clients instead of saviorship.
- I want all of us to be able to exist peacefully and THRIVE in our bodies.
We need more health and wellness professionals to abandon the status quo and trust that we can do good in the world without it. While this list may seem ambitious, the good news is that there are a number of folks who are taking a radical approach to health and wellbeing.
I know these things ARE NOT easy to do. But we can't wait. We cannot drag our feet and hope that things magically get better.
It's time for the health and wellness community to get on board with the truth or get left behind...
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