Think Piece: Wellness industries and Capitalism

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I must confess that I’m a HUGE fan of all things self help. I often spend my mornings watching Lisa Nicols videos and looking at P’Diddy’s tweets to get me riled up (don’t come for my fav lol). On many occasions reading a self-help book made me feel powerful and installed faith in me that I am the driver of my own destiny. Despite all of the positives that self-help/ wellness industries offer, I can’t seem to turn a blind eye away from the hyper-capitalism and naivety that plagues the industry.

I think that it is necessary to understand that self-manifesting can have its limits based on socio-economic realities and histories. Structural inequalities including classism, racism, gender oppression, transphobia and so forth play a huge role in our inability to self-actualize to our fullest potential.

Under capitalism, especially if you’re poor, being told things like “if you work hard you can manifest anything you want”  can feel like a slap in the face. There’s plenty of ways to dispel this logic  but one problem is that there’s plenty of hard working people with jobs who are still struggling to make ends meat. Conditions under capitalism such as austerity, lack of upward mobility, low paying jobs make the idea of attracting “abundant finances” feel like a fantasy.

Living within a society which is very anti-wellness i.e. climate change, GMO foods, poverty, materialism, the narrative of wellness/ self-care ideologies cannot seek just individual solutions to healing but collective and structural transformations too.

I believe that there needs to be a balance between acknowledging certain histories and structural inequalities whilst understanding that we have agency over the trajectory of our own lives. If we see ourselves as passive victims we begin to impose certain limitations upon ourselves. We are not merely passive victims and I refuse to let that narrative consume my reality. I think we owe it to our predecessors/ancestors and those who constantly fight against the odds to see ourselves as victors not victims. It is truly in personal and collective power that we can transform society into one which values self-actualization. Oh and just before I end, BUN CAPITALISM!!!

Copyright © AshAlves 2018, All Rights Reserved

2 responses to “Think Piece: Wellness industries and Capitalism”

  1. Ash, first of all, I love Lisa Nichols! Okay, so I agree partly with what you’ve said here. I do think that people can self-actualize beyond the systems that oppress us all; however, it’s probably much more challenging because people who live in poverty, for example, don’t always have the luxury of time to sit, control thoughts, and manifest. They’re too busy just surviving 🙁

    1. Yesss shoutout to you, she’s amazing! Well I actually agree with you, unfortunately not everyone has that luxury and the way the system is built, it only functions with certain people at the bottom and others at the top. But I think instead of seeing ourselves as hopeless we can use that into creating solutions, for example communal living etc which can help alleviate our immediate circumstances

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