I’ve long awaited the moment #wellness, “self-care,” and other well-meaning but ultimately meaningless modern phenomena pulls a full 180 and celebrates dirtbags. It is only a matter of time before the wellness industry discards mental health breaks from social media and drinking celery juice in favor of the spiritual enrichment of hedonism. That time might be now, or, at least, soon. I imagine a world in which carousing is marketed as psychologically fulfilling, presented beneath an Instagram advertisement for spiked seltzer.
While scrolling through my favorite website, Page Six, this morning, I stumbled upon a headline that read, “Spiritual teacher prefers reaching nirvana with shopping and sex,” and thought to myself, jackpot. According to the gossip blog, there’s a “Spiritual teacher” named “Biet Simkin” who says things like, “When I was told to just sit there [in traditional meditation classes], I wanted to kill people,” and “I want to shop, have sex, make lots of money, travel the world... You can find enlightenment while shopping at Barneys. You can do it while you’re f uc king someone and the f uc king is good.”
I applaud Simkin, as much as I am jealous of her for finding an avenue in which to celebrate and monetize self-indulgence, as if people weren’t already shopping and having sex. (She has a book out that apparently argues the same.) If only I was hotter, whiter, richer, and better at Instagram, I’d absolutely market being a well-dressed, life-of-the-party lady who loves to talk about boning to sell on social media. This is the future of wellness. Hand me a martini.
Victims of the popularization of wellness are those who get scammed by big businesses, those who innocently take false medical advice from phonies, who lose themselves in the minutiae of “organics,” while becoming naive to the language put forth by anti-vaxxers, Weight Watchers promoting calorie counting under a new logo and the glow of Kate Hudson, and men who decide to engage in “extreme fasting” while ignoring that what they’re participating in is dieting at best, disordered eating at worst. But if the tech-driven world demands humans talk about doing things that are good for us under the wellness umbrella, it’s only a matter of time before we’re being sold back our most sybaritic behaviors.
Let’s just skip all that and go on vacation. The fabulous, 64-year-old Carine Roitfeld, former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, recently credited her unrivaled ability to age gracefully to vodka, cigarettes, and an occasional baguette. That’s a lifestyle trend I can get behind.