WHAT ‘WELLNESS’ MEANS TO ME

Meet the women who have worked hard to create their precious wellness routines.

loading
Portrait of Anita
loading
Portrait of Anita

‘I believe beauty is about vivaciousness and energy and commitment and self-esteem, rather than some ideal arrangement of limbs or facial features.’

Anita Roddick The Body Shop founder

loading
heart illustration

A SELF LOVE CRISIS

The Body Shop is an activist business, founded on the philosophy that beauty can, and must, nurture the human spirit. Since 1979 it has been dedicated to doing just that. Last year, we commissioned a first-of-its-kind Global Self Love report. It revealed that, right now, the human spirit is in big trouble.

The report highlighted that 6 in 10 people around the world wish they had more respect for themselves, and 6 in 10 say that they feel useless at times. And we’re not talking about it. More than half of respondents said they often act ‘happy’ to please others even if they do not feel that way.

That’s why we need to talk about what ‘wellness’ really means. Because we think it’s so much more than a beauty trend. It’s about creating new routines that build self esteem. It’s about reducing stress and driving positive change. It’s only when we know our own worth, that we can rise up and build a better world.

ROUTINES THAT NURTURE MIND BODY AND SOUL

Positive routines shouldn’t be a luxury or an occasional treat. They can be practiced by anyone, any time. Whether you’re in the mood to start a revolution or simply carve out a few minute’s peace on a hectic day.

Meet three incredible women who have built their own routines around a deep connection to their wellness.

Deanah, Delaware, US

loading
blind beauty

I have always been someone who was interested in looking after themselves. Fashion, beauty, staying healthy, eating ‘well’ that kind of thing. When I was seventeen, in my senior year of high school I started to get blurry vision. 8 weeks later, I was blind. I had swelling of the optic nerve which had become irreversibly damaged.

People might think losing your sight would make you less shallow, and yeah, it did. But internally, I became even more concerned with what other people thought of me. I felt I had to overcompensate for being blind. I didn't want my blindness to define me. I still had self-care routines, but they were about what other people saw and what they thought of me. Like eating well to be slim or having nice skin. They were still about ‘conforming.’

This year has been very hard. It’s forced me to ask myself some deep questions. I am 7 months pregnant with a baby boy now. All of a sudden I’m like ‘ok I need to start dealing with what’s really going on with me.’ I have realised that I have been working so hard to overcome how people perceive me, I have neglected myself.

“True wellness has so many facets. It’s your mental space, your spirit, your energy - it’s all precious.”

loading
Photoshoot

Self-care and pampering are nice, they can mask what you are going through. True wellness has so many facets. It’s your mental space, your spirit, your energy - it’s all precious.

These days, I try to make how I present to other people the last thing I think about. My self love routines are about taking care of my emotional health. I’m an artist so I write music and poetry and I journal. Creativity is my release.

I still like to get my toes done. Even getting my toes done now is about more than that. When you are blind you can spend a lot of time in your head, you’re not distracted by sight. So when I go for a pedicure I’m leaving the house, I’m going for a walk, getting out of my head, surrounding myself with supportive people and doing something positive for myself.

“When you are blind you can spend a lot of time in your head”

I’ve been thinking about how I’ll teach my son to have a relationship with himself. I will ask him questions I didn't ask myself enough: ‘How do you feel about yourself today? Or ‘What’s something about yourself you are curious about?’ I hope I can teach him to seek out his inner beauty.

Kacey Martin, Sydney, Australia

loading
Kacey Martin Image

I am of Māori descent but I grew up in a predominantly white area, disconnected from that side of my family. I had internalized a lot of racist attitudes and for years tried to suppress my Māori identity.

For me, wellness is not separate from my identity. I am a fat, Indigenous woman of color with mental health issues. People with stigmatized identities often find it easy to accumulate shame. When you feel like you don’t matter, practicing self love is a radical act. Self worth is crucial to creating a better world. With it, I can do my work, advocating for Aboriginal communities.

‘When you feel like you don’t matter, practicing self love is a radical act. Self worth is crucial to creating a better world.’

loading
naked body

In the West it feels like we have a culture of self-optimisation of the body, where ‘healthy’ people are seen as morally superior. It’s a very individualised way of looking at health. Indigenous people see things differently. For them, wellness can’t be bought. It is interconnected with the family, the community and the earth. The Western wellness movement has started to latch onto these ideas. For some indigenous people this can be damaging. For example, when the growth in popularity of ‘smudging’ with sage makes it inaccessible to indigenous communities,

There is a shared grief amongst indigenous people that their culture has been taken from them. I have been lucky enough to find my tribe in New Zealand. When I got my Māori tattoo, I saw the mountain my spirit will pass to, and the river that will take me there. It brings me joy to know that I am spiritually connected to, the land. It’s part of my indigenous identity and it’s comforting to know my wellness is not just about me.

Zanny Jode, Norfolk UK

loading
Lady with flowers

When I was in an abusive relationship, I barely knew the meaning of the word ‘wellness.’ I wasn’t ‘well’ at all. I was very, very sick. I ate plain toast and pasta because I wasn’t able to buy my own food. I didn’t think about my own needs at all. My ex, who I was with from the age of 15, was very controlling. He didn't like me to leave the house and would choose all my friends for me, often hiding my car keys. But he knew how to fake it for a crowd so nobody, not even my closest family, knew the extent of the emotional and physical abuse I was suffering.

One day my daughter told me she didn't want to be a girl because women have to stay at home and do what their husbands tell them. It just triggered something in me. I knew I couldn't carry on where I was and give her that life. I hatched my escape plan and got out of there.

As soon as I decided to leave, my amazing sister swooped in and moved all my stuff to a new flat. When I finally had my own space I had to learn to be alone. After twelve years of not being allowed to make my own decisions, it was overwhelming. I spent time in the garden slowly processing what had happened, edging further out of the door. Mindfulness, reiki and meditation were essential to my recovery and re-entering the world again.

‘Doing my Saturday night beauty routine isn’t just about looking good, it’s a self love routine that harnesses my inner power.’

I filled that house with every color of the rainbow. I was determined my life after him would be full of joy. And it is! It feels like I am talking about another person now. My daughter is now a fiercely independent, smart and kind teenager. There are hangovers from my old life, I still have a lot of social anxiety when I am around big crowds of drunk people. It can trigger a sense of panic from previous abuse.

That’s why for me, doing my Saturday night beauty routine isn’t just about looking good, it's a self love routine that harnesses my inner power and helps me override my anxiety.

I am a little bit witchy like that. My beauty routines are soothing and intentional. When I do my eyelashes I say to myself ‘I am lifting my eyelashes to lift my spirit up’ or when I do my lipstick I do it with the intention my lips will speak kind words. It might sound silly to some people, but it works for me.

meet our new wellness rangeS

loading
Sleep Moisturizing Balm

Sleep

Help bring balance to your mind and body with our new Sleep Wellness range, designed to help you recharge.

Shop our Sleep Range
loading
Breathe Wellness The Body Shop

BREATHE

Help bring balance to your mind and body with our new Breathe range, designed to help you reconnect.

Shop our Breathe range
loading
Boost Wellness The Body Shop

BOOST

Help bring balance to your mind and body with our new Boost range, designed to help you re-energize.

Shop our Boost range