The recent exposé of the so-called ‘wellness’ blogger, Belle Gibson, is nothing more than ripping the curtain back on yet another charlatan, playing on people’s hopes and fears.
She joins a long list of people that seem to think that health is something to be found in juices, enemas and pathological diet regimes. These people spruik sometimes extreme solutions to serious diseases, and peddle lies about cures, like old-fashioned shysters, hawking their wares at the market.
They fool people into thinking that they can always be in control; that they are responsible alone for their health. Their shiny good looks are sold as available to anyone who just tries harder at their particular recipe for success. Just buy the book, and the app, and the blender, and the thermomix, and the juicer, and the enema kit, and the crystal potions on special for $59.99 and everything will be ok.
Of course, that’s bullshit. And it’s bullshit for many reasons but mostly because these people are not actually interested in health at all. Well, at least not in the health of all of us.
If they cared about health, then they would care about poverty, inequality, housing or transport. The social determinants of health (SDOH) show that where people live, and what access they have to education and employment has far more to do with their health than eating pasta.
“It is now well established that the most common forms of physical and mental ill-health that affect populations are strongly influenced by factors in the social environment, which exert an influence over the life course.” [From here]
But focusing solely on an individualised model of health, like this wellness woo, just means that those who can afford their so-called solutions can sneer at those who can’t. They can have their organic kale smoothies and discuss the provenance of their fish, while laughing at people who eat at fast food places. And none of this is going to stop them getting sick. None of it.
They don’t have to admit that their ability to pay for all this nonsense is directly related to how well they perform on the SDOH indicators. They have a stable home, a decent education, access to work and transport, with good healthcare on tap. Remember those old discussions about class? Yeah, this is what class looks like.
After all, it’s not like they are the ones that actually have to pay the health costs of the SDOH.
“The fact that so many disadvantaged Australians are in poor health or have long-term health conditions relative to individuals in the least socio-economically disadvantaged groups is simply unfair. So are the impacts on people’s satisfaction with their lives, missed employment opportunities, levels of income and need for health services. This study shows that major social and economic benefits are being neglected and savings to Government expenditure and the health system overlooked. ” [From here]
This idea that a single individual always has power and control over any illness is simply wrong. These fraudulent asshats, that focus on un-scientific nonsense as a cure, say to anyone that is sick that they can be fixed by things that do not work. This is revolting and cruel. Fuck you and fuck off.