We did a thing!
We hosted a listening session last month where we asked women how food companies like ours are engaging with and shaping messages about wellness, health, self-care and diet culture.
We want to understand how real womens’ overall sense of physical and mental wellness is impacted by constant wellness messaging.
The problem with ‘wellness’
While the concept of wellness may seem to be positive on a surface level, the shadow side of the 1.5 trillion dollar industry often goes unnoticed but it’s not unfelt: striving for perfection and personal betterment can feel like a never ending hamster wheel.
One of the most pervasive and troubling sides of wellness that targets women specifically is diet culture. As defined by Christy Harrington, author of “Anti-Diet”, diet culture is a belief system that
- Worships thinness and equates it to health and moral virtue.
- Promotes weight loss as a means of attaining higher status.
- Demonizes certain ways of eating while elevating others.
- Oppresses people who don’t match up with its supposed picture of ‘health’.
What does wellness have to do companies selling food?
Taking Stock is always seeking ways to engage with customers meaningfully, in a way that does not degrade or undermine any person’s sense of wellbeing.
Unfortunately, we see food companies dispatch diet culture messaging in two key ways through their social media
Diet culture messaging is presented through direct messages around ‘healthy food’. This is a problematic approach as the standard of ‘healthy food’ is subject to change; see how much the Food Pyramid has changed in the last 60 years.
Diet culture messaging is presented by featuring a very specific type of body in brand messaging: a below average size person who presents as white, feminine and youthful.
How can I push back against wellness?
During the listening session, we dug deep into the personal experience of women and how diet culture and wellness messaging impacts them.
We’ll be sharing insights from the session throughout the month. Visit our homepage to sign up email updates for notifications of when new posts from this series come out.
It’s important to Taking Stock that we listen to voices that may otherwise be ignored. We care about people and how our messaging over social media impacts all humans.
Stay tuned to see a list of best practices for food businesses to use on social media to temper pervasive diet culture messaging.
We hope it also empowers customers to hold food brands accountable for when they’re using diet messaging to erode a person’s sense of wellbeing in an effort to sell products.
We strive to nurture your supportive, holistic relationship with your body and we hope sharing this information with you does just that!