For Good Trouble actress Zuri Adele, the last thing wellness should be is exclusive. And that goes for beauty too.
Having access to affordable options in the wellness space can often be challenging for historically marginalized communities. How much is that therapy session without insurance? Or that yoga class? Those financial barriers are something the 32-year-old wants to rethink.
“In order to create more accessibility to wellness for communities who have been historically marginalized and unsupported,” Adele told In The Know by Yahoo at the MAKERS Conference in Dana Point, Calif., where she was a speaker, “we can lean into reparations, and we can start to create avenues of wellness that people who may not be able to afford their wellness practices can still come [to] and practice.”
In addition to donation-based care, what that could look like, according to Adele, is scholarships, or “energy exchanges,” where something other than money (teaching, say) can be exchanged for wellness treatment.
The goal, she said, is to “create that access to wellness practices, wellness courses, teacher trainings, so that we can become those leaders and teachers in those spaces so that that practice can feel most accessible to the communities.”
Part of that access, arguably a large part, also applies to the world of beauty — and that’s representation.
After all, seeing yourself, or someone like you, offering much-needed care or showing a different standard of beauty can help with connection and self-esteem. Representation can also provide an element of safety for underrepresented communities.
“Representation is crucial in the wellness space because we create the atmosphere that makes us feel most safe,” Adele shared. “Whether we’re choosing the music that ancestrally uplifts us, or we’re burning certain elements, or we’re even using references that will not be culturally triggering, when we have representation at the forefront of the teaching staff of these wellness spaces, we are ensuring that these wellness spaces are safe spaces for everyone.”
For beauty, it’s about reframing the current Eurocentric beauty standard and embracing what makes us different.
“We can continue to affirm each other’s beauty, affirm our differences and just dare to express ourselves in the ways that make us feel the most confident, whatever that is, without judgment,”
While the media has been slow to embrace different forms of beauty, Adele is optimistic.
“When I think about television and film, I see that the people who are working behind the scenes in media, those groups are becoming more and more inclusive of people of color,” she shared. “And so the more we do that, I think the more we have perspectives on what is going on in our storytelling from really authentic and inclusive spaces.”
That can have a tremendous impact on viewers who are consuming that content, hopefully opening up opportunities for better understanding and more self-confidence.
“If we love our curls, we love our locs, we love our deep brown skin, whatever that is,” Adele said, “as long as we continue to lean into that without questioning it based on what society says, or shows us, we will be on the right path.”
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