Your Health Unlocked Episodes

Ep 012 The Commodification of Self Care with Sujaya Balachandran 

Publication Date: February 07, 2023

By: NWHN Staff

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Self-care is meant to address symptoms of everyday stressors and inspire practices for physical, mental, and social well-being.

From social media trends on Instagram and TikTok to celebrities creating wellness brands, self-care has become commodified in recent years – particularly towards women.

Self-care is an act of leisure and luxury, something not all women have time for due to the demands of their jobs, childcare, or household duties. When combined with consumerism, self-care is widening the inequality gap of who has access to what resources for their well-being.

How can we escape social media and advertising’s consumeristic grip on self-care and return to its true purpose?

We spoke with Sujaya Balachandran to find out.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to use self-care to improve your physical, social, and mental health
  • How social media has warped self-care to spur consumerism
  • How to determine which self-care practices work best for you

More about Sujaya:

Sujaya is a Women & Public Policy Fellow with The Center for Women in Government & Civil Society at SUNY Albany’s Rockefeller College. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies from Carnegie Mellon in 2014 and is earning her MA in Criminal Justice at the University of Albany, SUNY. Sujaya is currently at the office of Assembly Member Patricia Fahy, working on various legislative and community outreach initiatives.





Resources for Episode 010:

Important terms :

Self-care: activities that help you find meaning and support your growth and “grounded-ness”.

Self-soothing: activities that provide distraction and/or comfort during difficult times.

Community care: workarounds for systems that don’t inherently support care.

Structural care: systems that support community care, self-care, and self-soothing.

References Mentioned

What We’re Talking About When We Talk About Skin Care, The Huffington Post. 

I Gooped Myself. The Atlantic. 

Who Is ‘That Girl’ & Why Is TikTok Obsessed with Her? Refinery29. 

That Girl: Wellness Shouldn’t Be Work. YouTube. 

Parks and Rec episode: Season 4 Episode 4

New Age Capitalism: Making Money East of Eden by Kimberly J. Lau

How We Can Work Together to Avoid Cultural Appropriation in Yoga by

The primary purpose of this podcast is to educate and entertain. All views expressed by the persons featured on the Your Health Unlocked podcast are their own and do not reflect the opinions of the NWHN or its affiliates. Information provided in this podcast does not constitute medical advice. Consult your own provider for any medical issues that you may be experiencing.

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