The Health Craze is Not Just a Phase, But a Gaze into History

Merriam Webster needs to make revisions to its dictionaries because society has altered the definitions of beauty and success once again due to the increased popularity of the health craze.

As a new resident of the Chelsea/ Flatiron neighborhood, I wasn’t surprised to find numerous Starbucks locations at my disposal, yet when I explored the area they appeared scarce compared to the overpopulation of juice bars. I never expected to stumble upon 7 spinning studios – 3 of which were SoulCycle.

spinning-771470_640SoulCycle reinvented indoor cycling when it opened its first studio in 2006 and became one of the top 10 NYC Google Searches of 2012. Ever since then, spinning studios have become part of the New York City lifestyle.

Companies like Juice Press and Blue Print have become popular names in the juice industry and they too are being integrated into our lives. They no longer just offer a trendy beverage for those who can afford it at $10 a bottle, but the companies, like spinning studios, have become part of our regimen.

“We see detoxing as a path to transcendence, a symbol of modern urban virtue and self transformation through abstinence…we indulge in expensive cold pressed juices and SoulCycle classes, justifying these purchases as investments in our health,” says Lizzie Crocker, journalist at the Daily Beast.

These days it seems like trends are ever so fleeting, but a few like these have become a part of who we are as a community.When you look into history, you see the trends that defined beauty and success have transformed drastically, while reflecting the times.

Look at the corset for example. In the 16th century it was meant to create a cylindrical figure, while flattening and raising the bust line. By the 18th century it transformed into an unhealthy device that created a hourglass figure. A trend that became a part of society for over 2 centuries evolved and changed to the point where it no longer was one.

In the past, a full figure meant you were wealthy enough to eat rich food. Due to this, such a figure became the definition of beauty and success for both women and men. Yet now, being skinny and fit has become the epitome of beauty. Just like in history, only those who can afford it have the opportunity to  become society’s ideal image.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Eugene Lee Yang, video producer at BuzzFeed, said, “We’re so often preoccupied with current trends that we lose perspective on how fleeting our obsession with physical perfection has historically been.”

This recent health craze isn’t just a trend that reflects how we are fixated on obtaining society’s idea of perfection, but how perfection is made for the rich. If Merriam Webster needs help revising its definitions, here is a suggestion, “Beauty & Success: If you can afford it!”


About Nicole Yapijakis

Nicole Yapijakis is a strong minded junior, who loves to travel and experience what the world has to offer.