Health and wellness bloggers: We need to have a chat about your Instagram accounts and the advice you share on your blogs.
Just because you’re “young, photogenic, big on Instagram and top bestseller lists around the world” does not make you qualified to give people nutrition and health advice, as pointed out by author Hadley Freeman for this fantastic The Guardian UK article.
I have to agree. Although being a healthy living inspiration as defined by our cultural standards can be a positive thing — especially since more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese — I think there is a point where wellness bloggers can do more harm than good.
Just as looking good does not make you a fitness expert, being pretty and thin with an Instagram page full of Reyes-filtered images of your morning coffee, mala beads and laptop; frosty green smoothies in mason jars topped with cacao nibs causally placed next to a carefully stacked pile of homemade raw/vegan/gluten-free/Whole 30-approved energy bars; a spiralized zucchini noodle pasta dish with cashew cream sauce (#vegan #healthy #wellness) you “just whipped up”; and wistful photos of you exploring a beach or doing yoga poses in the forest with some kind of inspirational quote about living life and following your dreams (#vcso #liveauthentic #explore) does not make you an authority on health, wellness and nutrition. As a fitness blogger who lives near the ocean in the pacific northwest, does yoga, practices mindfulness, eats primarily plant-based and often shares recipes on this blog and my Instagram feed, I’m totally guilty of some of these stereotypical shots and I’m the first to admit it. However, I’m also the first to admit I eat chocolate everyday and drink wine on the weekends, overindulge on vacations and fully believe in a life of balance and moderation. Being too rigid one way or another is not practical nor healthy, and I think portraying ourselves as the epitome of all that is health and wellness is not inspiring others to “live better” as much as we think it is. (more…)