An Honest Conversation on Black Health and Wellness
Black health and wellness spaces are crucial. Here’s how you can be a good advocate.
When we discuss black health and wellness, it’s critical we recognize how underrepresented people of color are in the space.
Don’t believe us?
Try googling health and wellness bloggers, and see how long it takes you to find a POC.
The lack of representation of minority health in this space is startling. It’s up to us to make sure we create a safe space for vital discussions and knowledge surrounding race and ethnicity health disparities.
As noted, black health and wellness bloggers are severely underrepresented. Oftentimes, when we think of the health and wellness space, we almost immediately think of white health—as the majority of the content is based on a white individual’s health and wellness needs.
While the health and wellness industry has been booming over the past few years—black health is often never discussed.
However, it’s necessary for POC to be educated on health and wellness, especially since they are more predisposed to illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, black mothers are even 3-4 times more likely to die due to pregnancy than white women. These startling statistics are proof that race and ethnicity health disparities still exist today. And we need to talk about them.
Representation of POC in health and wellness is not a luxury—it’s a necessity.
Here are some things you can do to help advocate for black health and wellness:
1. Educate Yourself and Others on Black Health and Wellness
If you’re a POC in the health and wellness space, it’s crucial you use your following to breakthrough barriers in the space. As a voice in the space, you need to use your following to advocate for representation.
You have the power to change the conversations we’re having surrounding black health and wellness—so it’s crucial you do your part.
Advocating for POC can look different. One thing you could do is take brand deals for companies where you know POC are well represented and taken into consideration. If a company doesn’t do a good job at addressing diversity or fighting racism—don’t work with them!
Alternatively, if you notice companies that are doing a great job at advocating for diversity and inclusion, talk about them more! To your following, to your friends, to your family.
Often, our own personal network and referrals have the biggest impact.
It’s also your responsibility as a leader in the space to create safe places for POC in the health and wellness industry to gather. When people have spaces to collaborate with one another, there’s more opportunity to create massive change throughout our communities. Organize events where POC in the health and wellness community can get together and share ideas.
If you’re not someone with a following, it’s still equally as important that you stay up to date on the latest happenings impacting the space. Our personal network and day to day interactions have the ability to empower people to have open discussions about topics such as black health and wellness.
The only way we can have these conversations about black health and wellness is if we are educated on the subject, and can talk about it. It’s our responsibility to stay up to date on the latest problems facing the community, and how we can help fix them.
Stay up to date with the news, do some research on the businesses you use everyday to see what their stances are on inclusion, and educate the people around you.
2. Support Leaders in the Black Health and Wellness Space
We live in an age where social media can create multi-billion dollar industries. We’d argue the health and wellness industry is heavily impacted by social media. Next time you scroll through your TikTok feed, you’re bound to come across at least 3 health and wellness videos.
But if you’re paying attention, the likelihood that you will see a POC making these videos is rare. That’s why when you see one, you need to amplify it’s reach.
When you help share these names and faces in the space, you’re helping build representation for people of color.
So the next time you listen to a great podcast or watch a YouTube video discussing black health and wellness, share it!
Retweet, repost, reshare…whatever you need to do to help amplify black voices.
3. Hold Businesses Accountable
If you come across a business that isn’t actively working towards inclusivity, reach out to them. Don’t be afraid to use your voice. With social media, it’s so easy to get in touch with businesses you shop from, and let them know your honest input.
Oftentimes, companies don’t even know they are doing something wrong.
It could just take one voice—your voice—to let them know what they can do to improve.
These big businesses have a huge reach and if they advocate for inclusivity, the ripple effect is massive.
4. Celebrate who you are
Embrace your individuality and who you are. In a world that tells us our blackness limits us—prove them wrong.
Society teaches us not to love our blackness, but if we don’t learn to embrace our individuality and celebrate it—we can’t be good advocates for ourselves.
So next time you’re feeling insecure, show yourself and your body radical love. Use positive affirmations that make you feel your best. Work with service providers, such as physicians, who make you embrace who you are. Websites like Connect2Heal are specifically designed to help POC connect with healthcare providers that bridge the gap between patients and physicians of color.
Commit to fueling your body with nutritious foods and create a fitness routine that works with your life. Work to develop a self care plan that fits your lifestyle. Do whatever it is you need to do, to truly embrace who you are.
When you love yourself, the energy radiates to those around you, and makes you a better advocate for the black health and wellness community.