The How Well? Project
New Graphic Anthology and Website Launched
‘Wellness’ is a relatively new concept in contemporary thought. A 2010 New York Times article attributes the term to a 1979 segment of the television program 60 Minutes , where it was derived in opposition to ‘illness.’ Therefore, one might assume that the pursuit of wellness is simply that of staving off sickness. Yet, current trends show ‘wellness’ as a consumer-based, neoliberal, capitalistic, and divisive concept, nearly religious in the ethical role it has taken in our culture. This new ‘wellness’ is highly exclusive; the billion-dollar wellness industry is geared toward those who have the financial resources to participate in this rarified form of individualized self-improvement. How has the pursuit of “being well” morphed into a drive for physical and moral perfection (read physique perfection)? The Be Well project aims to understand the conflation of wealth, privilege, and health in the narratives of contemporary Western culture.