62 minutes | Jul 16, 2020

14: The Radical History of Self-Care & the New World of Wellness Branding

Self-care and wellness are everywhere around us. From cereal boxes to the makeup counter to furniture rental, CBD sticks, mobile apps and coffee - a new mindset about how to be… but also how to consume, has settled in. As second nature as this may all seem right now, the concept of self-care actually comes from a very radical and politically charged place in recent American history. In this episode of Unseen Unknown, we speak with New York Times journalist and editor Aisha Harris about the connected history of politics, race, gender and identity that underpins the self-care space today, and how it’s many interpretations reflect our American culture.The history or self-care and wellness is deep and rich, stemming from the civil rights movement, Black and LGBT communities, the hippie wellness movement of the 1960s, and then going mainstream with a new political resurgence after the 2016 election.We also speak with founder Jerome Nichols of The Butters, a self-care beauty brand and cult favorite that signals a new approach in the space among upstarts looking to bring self-care back to its communal roots through very intentional branding and user experiences. Links to interesting things mentioned in this episode and further reading:A History of Self-Care (Slate):http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2017/04/the_history_of_self_care.html   ‘Self-care’: how a radical feminist idea was stripped of politics for the mass market (The Guardian):https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/21/self-care-radical-feminist-idea-mass-market You Feel Like Shit: An Interactive Self-Care Guide:https://philome.la/jace_harr/you-feel-like-shit-an-interactive-self-care-guide/play/index.html Post-election, Minorities Are Taking Self-Defense Classes In Droves (Slate):https://slate.com/human-interest/2017/01/post-election-minorities-are-taking-self-defense-classes-in-droves.html Inside the $2,000-a-Month, Invite-Only Fitness Clubs (Elemental):https://elemental.medium.com/inside-the-2-000-a-month-invite-only-fitness-clubs-b44dc031bf54 How Self-Care Became So Much Work (Harvard Business Review): https://hbr.org/2018/08/how-self-care-became-so-much-work Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination (University of Minnesota Press):https://www.amazon.com/Body-Soul-Panther-against-Discrimination/dp/0816676496 Understanding the radical history of self-care is essential to practicing it successfully (Hello Giggles): https://hellogiggles.com/lifestyle/health-fitness/understanding-radical-history-of-self-care/ The Dark Truths Behind Our Obsession With Self-Care (Vice): https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/zmdwm4/the-young-and-the-uncared-for-v25n4 Where Group Prayer Meets Group Fitness (New York Times):https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/19/style/religious-fitness-wellness-streaming-coronavirus.html For more brand strategy thinking: https://www.theconceptbureau.com/
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