'THIS IS WELLBEING'
A photography campaign series created to promote more diversity and inclusion in the health, wellbeing and fitness industries
As seen in...
If, like me, you go to yoga classes, or fitness classes, or wellbeing talks, or workshops... or pretty much anything to do with health, wellbeing or fitness, you have probably noticed that the majority of the teachers, speakers and attendees fit the same demographic - white, slim, young, able-bodied. Right?
I personally fit that stereotype to a T. I rarely feel out of place, uncomfortable, or unwelcome in the spaces mentioned above because of my appearance or background. This is a privilege, as it sadly isn't the case for so many others. People who are black, Asian, or any ethnic minority; people with a disability or impairment; people that have larger bodies; elderly people; and many others that don't quite fit the stereotype of 'health' or 'fitness' that society has continually fed into, are left feeling unwelcome, unrepresented, and uncomfortable in these spaces. The visual messaging around the health, fitness and wellbeing industries is a huge factor in this. If someone can’t see themselves represented in a space, how are they supposed to feel welcome in it?
We only need to look at the statistics to see that people in underrepresented or minority groups are some of the most likely to suffer from mental health issues or feel a lack of ‘belonging’. Yet, the very industry shown to be hugely beneficial to those who are struggling with mental health, amongst other issues, isn’t as accessible to them as it is to those of us who are represented. Instead of attempting to alleviate the complex trauma and mental health issues faced by many, we are perpetuating the issue by advertising 'wellbeing' as a luxury reserved for a specific type of person.
This is a complex and multifaceted issue rooted in history and I am aware that a blog post, photo, or entire campaign is not the solution, but equally, to ignore it would be to implicitly add to the problem.
The aim of this campaign is to promote more diversity and inclusion in health, wellbeing and fitness by showing a more representative visual message and by hearing from a variety of enthusiasts and professionals in the industry who are impacted by and passionate about the topic. The series also aims to show that it shouldn’t only be those who feel underrepresented themselves that discuss these issues and take action to change them (even if that means making mistakes along the way).
Click on any of the images below to see and read more from the individual photographed and follow their work.
All photographs were taken by me and remain copyright of me.
All graphics were created by Laura Holland, The Positive Nutritionist.