THE CULTURAL MOOD: YOU DO YOU
Rather than following the rules, or doing things in a way dictated by others, taking care of yourself for youth today starts with a ‘you do you’ mindset. For example, instead of following a strict Veganuary, there is a growing openness to flexitarianism, finding your own flexible way to reduce your intake of higher carbon-impact foods without completely restricting yourself or your cravings. With 65% of young people wanting a more ‘plant-forward diet’, without going all in on it, it’s about doing what suits you when it suits you.
“Here’s to a year of eating and drinking whatever we want, moving our bodies if/when they need it, sleeping, laughing, being kind to ourselves and having a great ole time.” Eleanor, 30, Fizzy Milk
It can also be doing you by choosing to reject it all, in response to a growing wellness industry that can come with big costs and big promises. ‘Wellness’ trends can be controversial at times - and youth aren’t afraid to critique or reject them. Dr Tom Curran, Assistant Professor at LSE and chartered social psychologist, points out how the societal and financial pressures of being your best self at all times can have a huge effect on young people’s own mental wellness: “When you put pressure on people to better themselves and don't talk about the things around them that they can't control, that leads to a lot of self-blame and a lot of self-criticism.” Wellness parody accounts, like this one, create and share content that fits with the digital aesthetics, posting shareable graphics with seemingly empowering quotes with a more spicy tone.