Holistic Treatment

An Update From Well+Good About Our Archives

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Photo: Stocksy / HERNANDEZ & SOROKINA
In the wake of the protests for racial justice following the police killing of George Floyd, Well+Good made a series of public promises to its readers to become a meaningfully diverse, inclusive, and welcoming space for all people. We did not want to participate in or enable the parts of the industry that shut out the voices, talents, and experiences of those who do not fit the white, cisgender, affluent, able-bodied mold of “wellness.” We vowed to change our ways immediately.

In the months since we made that initial promise, we’ve made a new (and overdue) commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) with our content, business practices, and corporate policies. One facet of this work included creating new brand guidelines for the language we use and how to cover our core verticals (health, food, fitness, beauty, and lifestyle). We’re applying these standards (such as providing appropriate historical and cultural context when covering specific ingredients, dishes, and healing practices) to every piece that we publish, now and in the future.

But we also knew that something had to be done about our library of approximately 21,000 articles. These stories date back to Well+Good’s founding in 2009 and are still read by thousands of people every day who find their way to our site through Google and other avenues. It was important to look back at our history and address our past missteps and harm, too.

Thus, while our DEI guidelines have been immediately applied to all new content, we are diligently working through our library to revise or remove content that has been flagged as harmful, insensitive, or offensive.

What could prompt a story to be revisited? It depends. We started in July by crawling the site for terms that we consider to be culturally appropriative or insensitive (like “guru” or “mecca”) and removing them from stories. We are also working to better educate ourselves on specific cultural practices—like saging and smudging, sacred Indigenous practices that have been co-opted by white wellness practitioners—and overhaul the stories that discussed those practices to better reflect our values and knowledge. In some cases, we deleted old stories altogether that we felt could not be reworked to meet our standards.

This library update is ongoing, and we recognize that we have a lot of work to do to make right the wrongs of our past content. We will work hard to ensure all content, past and present, reflects our values. In the spirit of transparency, we invite you to email us at info@wellandgood.com if you see anything on the website that doesn’t meet our aforementioned standards of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We want to hear from you about how we can better serve and represent our community.

Thank you for continuing to help us make Well+Good a better place for all people to be well.

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