The Problem With #SELF-CARE
The act of caring for yourself, or self-care doesn’t seem difficult. it’s giving our bodies and minds exactly what they need. Allowing ourselves the space to breath and truly advocating for our needs. For much of my life the act of self-care seemed revolutionary. I had already felt that my body had failed me - so why would I give back to it?
After discovering the body positivity movement, seeking help and working through my life long battle with diet culture I discovered the true meaning of self-care. Not just the instagramable lush bath bomb version. Much of the popularity of self-care came from activists primarily women, people of colour and the LGBTQIA+ community as a kind of protest. It was a way of looking after marginalised bodies and minds when no one else bothered to.
The problem with the hash-taggable trend of self-care as we know it today is that it’s become warped from its original purpose. It has been appropriated by companies as a way of profiting off of our physical and mental needs. It has become a middle aged thin, cis, white woman eating smashed avocados on toast and attending £30 yoga classes.
This aesthetic gram worthy version of self-care makes us believe thats what self-care truly looks like and that it will truly fix all of our problems. It tricks us into believing that if we pick up a green smoothie, sign up to yoga classes and read law of attraction books that everything will be ok. When in fact you can’t treat mental health conditions with a bath bomb, even if they are shaped like an aubergine (thanks lush). Not only does this pretty self-care fool us into thinking it will actually work but it also makes you feel terrible because that isn’t what self-care looks like to you.
Self-care has become the same bullshit we have been buying into for years and trying to fight against for years. It has become a marketable phrase and a way of making us think we can buy into it and ultimately buy our own happiness.
So I think it’s time to reclaim self-care and truly strip it back to it’s original meaning, a way of taking care of ourselves In a world that doesn’t care.
It’s about advocating for yourself, your believes, your needs and who you are, In a world that would have you forget. It does pose that question that if we lived in a world where we had complete access to the resources to get the help we need would self-care even be a thing? Are we a generation of people who care, or are we a generation of people who aren’t being cared for.