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Wellness is a Privilege

Updated: Jun 4, 2023

When getting a second job to pay for food becomes the new standard, it's time to reconsider if wellness is available to everyone or just the 1%

wellness

The Health Illusion Sweeping the Planet

From a young age, they tell us that anyone can achieve good health if they make the right choices. They presented the (very outdated and completely funded by the companies who would profit from it) food pyramid. The fitness industry bombards us with the idea that being unhealthy is solely a result of individual decisions.


This narrative fails to consider the complex intersectionality of our lives and how circumstances beyond our control can impact our ability to prioritize wellness.


Wellness is a privilege. We should shed light on the systemic factors that hinder individuals from making healthy choices.


The Reality of Intersectionality

Our experiences and circumstances shape us.

While we may not have walked in someone else's shoes, it's crucial to acknowledge that various factors, such as socioeconomic status, race, and access to resources, profoundly influence one's ability to prioritize health.Intersectionality plays a pivotal role in understanding the different walks of life and the barriers individuals face in pursuing wellness.


…And the Cost of Health

In an ideal world, maintaining a healthy lifestyle would be accessible to all. The harsh reality is that economic disparities limit individuals' options when it comes to nutrition, fitness, and healthcare.

For those living in poverty, the focus is often on survival rather than making healthy choices. Affordable and nutritious food can be scarce, and time constraints due to multiple jobs further exacerbate the challenges of prioritizing wellness.



The Impact of Childhood Circumstances

Childhood experiences shape our attitudes and behaviors, including those related to health. Growing up in an environment where healthy food options are limited, or where access to safe spaces for physical activity is scarce, significantly impacts long-term health outcomes.

Recognize that circumstances beyond an individual's control during their formative years can create barriers to making healthy choices later in life.


Mindset and Survival

Blaming individuals for their health status overlooks the realities of survival and the mindset shaped by challenging circumstances. When daily struggles revolve around meeting basic needs, focusing on nutrition and exercise becomes a luxury.

Survival instincts prioritize immediate needs over long-term health considerations, making it unjust to place sole responsibility on individuals for their perceived lack of wellness.


The Privilege of Wellness

Wellness encompasses not only physical health but also mental, emotional, and social well-being. Recognizing that wellness is a privilege means understanding the systemic factors that perpetuate health disparities.


It calls for empathy, compassion, and a willingness to address the root causes of inequity, such as poverty, inadequate access to healthcare, and limited educational opportunities.


Promoting Equity in Wellness

Creating a more equitable wellness landscape requires addressing the systemic issues that contribute to health disparities. This includes advocating for policies that improve access to affordable, nutritious food, promoting inclusive fitness spaces, and dismantling barriers to healthcare. It also involves fostering understanding and empathy within communities to support individuals in their pursuit of well-being.

By acknowledging that wellness is a privilege, we can shift the narrative from blame to empathy and start working towards creating a society where health is attainable for all. We need to recognize the systemic barriers that hinder individuals from prioritizing their well-being and actively work to dismantle them. Let's strive for a future where everyone, regardless of their circumstances, has equal opportunities to live a healthy and fulfilling life.

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