Episode number two of the Balanced Black Girl podcast is a solo episode, with me diving into why the mainstream wellness space feels so one-size-fits-all, and how we can all work together to fix it.
Remember a few years ago when the Oscars got called out for the lack of diversity among its nominees? Also known as #OscarsSoWhite? I certainly do, and now it’s time to tackle what I call, #WellnessSoWhite – aka the lack of diversity and perpetual cultural appropriation in the online wellness space.
Back in February, I attended the GOOD Fest, a day-long celebration of all things wellness in Los Angeles. As a wellness junkie, I enjoyed hearing from the speakers, trying the different products, and meeting several of my wellness blogger friends in real life. However, there was just one caveat – there were hundreds of women there to celebrate wellness, and I could count the women of color in attendance (and on the speaker line-up) with one hand. And I wasn’t the only person who noticed.
Right after the event, I got an email from a reader who had been following the weekend closely on social media, and she noticed the same thing. She shared with me that she is a Latina and struggled to feel represented by influencers in the online wellness space – which is what drew her to me. I was one of few women of color she saw represented in wellness online, and me simply showing up made her feel like her health mattered too.
In this solo episode, I talk about how this email changed the entire trajectory of my brand, business, and life. While I echoed the same feelings this reader shared with me, I often stuffed them down, afraid of speaking up because I didn’t want to rock the boat. But after hearing from this woman, I realized just how much representation truly matters – and that largely influenced this podcast, website, and platform being created.
I also discuss some ways we can all work together to make the online wellness space feel more inclusive, culturally respectful and representative of more people.
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Lestraundra is the founder of Balanced Black Girl and the host of the Balanced Black Girl Podcast. She’s a Certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, and natural beauty junkie who loves 90’s R&B, trying new skincare products, and creating recipes in the Instant Pot. She created Balanced Black Girl to provide content and experiences empowering women of color to live well.