The Good and the Bad: The Rise of Wellness Influencers


Ellen Chapman ’27 and Skylar Cohen ’27
Staff Writers

From Goop to Poosh and every celebrity or influencer-backed wellness brand in between, the world of health and wellness has gotten incredibly clouded by unscientific suggestions. The haphazard attachment of buzzwords such as “detox” and “clean” to promote products leaves consumers guzzling greens, powders, and munching on gummies. But what truly is “wellness” and who should we take health advice from?

In October 2018, TikTok became the most downloaded app in the United States. Consumers were enthralled by short dance videos, challenges, and day-in-the-life vlogs. Amid this exponential rise in popularity, the existing phenomenon of the wellness influencer gained new traction. In short videos, these influencers shared their diets, workout routines, and supplement rituals which spurred impressionable viewers to try these wellness regimens in hopes of bettering themselves. 

As the popularity of these influencers rose, so did the market for the wellness industry. Companies like Bloom Nutrition, Goop, Poosh, Olly, and various health food stores have all seen increased consumer spending. Wellness culture has driven profits for these companies by sponsoring influencers and celebrities to promote their products. Health food store Erewhon has become widely known for $18 health smoothies in collaboration with celebrities such as Hailey Beiber, Bella Hadid, Olivia Rodrigo, and Kourtney Kardashian, thereby promoting the grocery store and encouraging consumers to purchase food and drinks. 

Other wellness brands have followed this model of sponsoring influencers and then reaping the benefits of said influencer’s large following. The growth of this industry is heavily accredited to influencers on TikTok, Instagram Reels, and Youtube Shorts.

The accessibility to wellness ad health-related content over a magnitude of platforms is not an inherently negative thing. The abundance of noise, however, works incredibly efficiently to obscure facts and mislead consumers. 

Wellness influencers continuously promote ineffective products for their own gain. Take Bloom Nutrition as an example – the greens powder that has been plastered all over social media is not FDA-approved or backed by research studies. According to registered dietitian (RD) Christina Manian, “though most of the ingredients found in this popular supplement are known health foods, when dried and powdered they are stripped of their fiber and water content — key nutrients for gut health.” This fact directly contrasts the supplement’s claims to “debloat and support digestion.”

That being said, not all health-related information on social media platforms is misinformed or rooted in consumerism. An abundant network of qualified health professionals is sharing safe, science-backed information to promote healthy lifestyles. 

When doom-scrolling the wellness realms of the internet, double-check if the content creator indicates their credentials and experience before taking their advice as fact. Consumers need to know that anyone can call themselves a nutritionist or lifestyle coach, but certifications such as Registered Dietitian (RD), or Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) indicate a higher level of education and legitimacy of the account holder. 

Additionally, the longevity of a certain practice is important to consider when attempting to differentiate between trends and time-honored facts. Before taking a supplement or going on a carnivore diet, you should always talk to a healthcare professional. Medical advice should always stem from your medical providers, not @skinnywellnessbae on TikTok. Further, scientific studies on many wellness trends exist, and when contemplating the effectiveness of a certain trend, these can be immensely helpful. 

An unfortunate facet of wellness culture is the promotion of narrow-minded and unattainable health goals. This polarizing rhetoric distracts from the importance of a balanced life and contributes to unhealthy standards and practices. 

Wellness is not a universally applicable set of rituals and products. Rather, it is a practice defined by each unique individual. Genetics and lifestyle play a large role in the results of a “life-changing” wellness trend and therefore it is far more productive for individuals to cultivate a healthy lifestyle that is tailored to their specific needs and goals. A wellness routine is an important part of one’s self-care and therefore should be catered to that person’s enjoyment and sustainability. 

As internet users, we find joy in participating in trends and consuming certain wellness-related media. However, it is important to be aware that much health-related content is not rooted in fact, but is a vehicle to further promote the wellness industry. Making informed decisions and understanding the underlying intent behind wellness content is critical to a healthy consumption of this type of media.


Photo Courtesy of LUXIDERS

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