Carden Cappi discusses whether the wellness industry is interested in promoting wellness or if it’s just interested in lining its pockets.
Who doesn’t like being well? Enjoy some self-care every now and then? The internet, especially social media, offers a vast platform for tips and tricks to achieve wellness. Whether it is product recommendations to make your skin flawless or how to be “that” girl to boost your productivity, there is no escape.
Especially during lockdown, the scene of wellness Influencers has increased. And with that, more and more products are available, which makes it seem like there is a separate serum or cream for every inch of your body. One for your right elbow, one for the skin on the left side of your face, etc. This raises the question of whether all this hype about wellness is actually about well-being or, instead, whether it is more about the well-being of the beauty and wellness economy and lining the pockets of Influencers.
If we look at the social implications those wellness trends have, it becomes clear that they are problematic in some ways. Of course, there is the issue of capitalism and whether those products are actually good and necessary. I mean, we survived millennia without them, so why do we need them now? Even worse, though, are the effects on the receivers of those wellness messages for several reasons.
Not everyone has the time to go through a one-hour routine, morning and evening, or get up at 4 am to do some yoga, go for a run and write half a novel, all before 7 am.
Firstly, a lot of the products we are urged to consume are costly and not everyone can afford them. There are also time pressures. Not everyone has the time to go through a one-hour routine, morning and evening, or get up at 4 am to do some yoga, go for a run and write half a novel, all before 7 am. Those issues can then create a bad feeling because you are not taking care of yourself like other people tell you to, and you can’t achieve the wellness you want.
And aside from the potential of having a negative impact, it is also important to consider the environmental impact that a lot of the products have. The idea that one needs a hundred and one products to achieve wellness produces a great amount of waste from packaging. For example, in 2018, over 120 million tons of packaging for beauty products ended up in landfills. And while some brands are resorting to recyclable packaging, the increasing amount of products available cancels the environmentally friendly ideas out.
– in 2018, over 120 million tons of packaging for beauty products ended up in landfills.
And then there are the contents of those products, which often contain chemicals that are not necessarily good for your body or the environment. Of course, products have to meet a certain standard and a lot of companies try to go natural with their ingredients. Nonetheless, according to the Guardian, while the individual product can be safe, the use of several products can cause the chemicals to accumulate to a potentially harmful level. Maybe in this case the saying “less is more” might be the solution.
However, there has been a shift. More and more people have become aware of the toxic implications that some trends and routines have, e.g., the 2022 “that girl” trend. So, while the wellness scene online won’t disappear, there might be a change in the recipients of those messages, but also the people from within. And maybe one day, people will realise that going through an hour long routine in the evening with a dozen steps to achieve wellness actually can be done faster, cheaper, and with fewer products with the same results and more time to relax.