Aged 24, Daniella joined the cult of contemporary wellness. She spiralised courgetti, saluted the sun, and came out top in spinning class. She even started her own clean-living blog and launched her own gluten-free granola brand.
But it’s been two years since Daniella’s last period. Her bones are disintegrating, hairs are springing up in all the wrong places, and her anxiety is sky-rocketing. The doctors are saying her lifestyle is responsible. When did wellness start making her sick?
Hear Me Raw is the autobiographical story of one woman’s journey through the world of 21st century wellness, via control, obsession, restriction, weight loss and more smoothies than you can shake a celery stick at. It explores how our eating disorders have been rebranded as ‘clean living’ and how regimental exercise regimes and restrictive diets have been sold as ‘self-care’. It removes the Instagram filter to reveal the fears and anxieties that continue to tie knots in our empty stomachs. It does all this through humour, honesty and too much turmeric.
The wellness industry will be worth over $737 billion by the end of 2017 -- Accenture Consulting
When I first started, not every woman had an eating issue; not everybody had a body dysmorphic problem. Now everybody does, but they don’t bother to talk about it. It’s beyond depressing. It’s hateful, really, what the culture has done. -- Psychotherapist Susie Orbach, author of Bodies & Fat is a Feminist Issue
In 2017, we are more connected than ever before. Online images proliferate while our conceptions of physical attractiveness become narrower. We pour more and more of our time, energy and finances into the quest for an unattainable beauty ideal. The body changes (slims, tones, bronzes), the compliments come thick and fast, while the psyche suffers in silence.
The term ‘orthorexia nervosa’ was first coined in 1996. It refers to an obsession with ‘correct diet’. Paradoxically, the orthorexic’s drive for good health typically yields unhealthy consequences: anxiety, isolation, and a plethora of physical health issues. A growing group of medical experts are campaigning for the disorder to be of officially recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Hear Me Raw is an urgent exploration of a widespread albeit poorly understood phenomenon that is in part borne out of our image-saturated culture.
This is just the start of Hear Me Raw. We intend to run a parallel outreach programme in schools, recover clinics and community groups. The aim is to get young people reassessing what wellness really means. Our workshops will provide a safe space for young people to talk about mental health, anxiety and body image. We have big ambitions, but we can only do all this with your support.
The show will be preformed at:
Latitude Festival - Friday 14th
Hackney Showroom - 24th / 27th / 28th July
Underbelly - Edinburgh Fringe Festival - 2nd - 27th August