As a white provider, I am unpacking how the very nature of the wellness profession is steeped in racism and white privilege. I am facing head-on the racism inherent in the wellness industry.
You heard me, the wellness industry is racist. I’m calling it out. And working through where that leaves me.
As a white bodyworker, I acknowledge my services are not financially accessible to everyone. Because BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Persons of Color) experience systemic oppression of opportunity and wealth, they are impacted more than anyone else.
Poor health outcomes, working more hours, and dealing with the constant stress and trauma that comes with enduring racial oppression. We must find ways to remove racism from self-care and wellness opportunities.
As sad as it is to say, massage and bodywork are still considered “luxury”. It shouldn’t be. But spending $100 on yourself is still unavailable to most. Given the economic systemic oppression that BIPOC endure, wellness services are inherently racist.
As a profession, massage and bodywork lack diversity; an overwhelming majority of therapists are white. There are larger systemic reasons for this, and it’s important to unpack them.
BIPOC need to see BIPOC wellness providers in order for it to feel like a truly safe space to enter. As a white person, I acknowledge that I am inherently not a safe person, let alone as a wellness service provider.
Wellness Racism and Me
I also acknowledge that I have not done enough to face these issues. Not intentionally, as racial justice has been on the forefront of my mind for a long time.
But I need to do better. I want to do more. And I will.
I am committing to dismantling my internal white supremacy, inherent wellness racism, and white privilege. The time to take more substantial action is now. Wellness and self-care need to be accessible to all, and we have a long way to go.
For transparency, and to begin the conversation, I want to share with you my commitment to learning and doing better. As a human and a wellness professional. .
- I can’t break down my blinders myself. I am continuing to participate in anti-racist trainings and conversations. I am enrolled in several upcoming trainings, including Seven Ways Business Owners Can Be Better Allies Right Now with Breonna Wilson and Decolonizing Wellness with Kheoshi Owens from Empress Rules.
- I am being intentional in aligning myself only with spaces and organization that share my values of inclusivity and a commitment to fight racial injustice. And being unapologetic about leaving spaces that do not.
- I actively engage in conversations and activism to make social change at the local and national level, including writing letters, sharing petitions, making phone calls, and having tough conversations.
And most importantly, I am doing my own internal work to dismantle my own racism, fragility, and privilege. I hope all of my white friends, clients, and fellow business owners will do the same.
RESOURCES AND SUGGESTED READINGS
Some resources for other white people to use in your own process of dismantling internal and systemic racism, including local events and trainings:
My hope is that we can all do better together.