“Let’s Get a Little Bit Aboriginal, Shall We?”: Transforming Cultural Appropriation into Spiritual Wellness via the Neohealthism of KINRGY

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Stacey Overholt
Amanda M. Friz


Celebrity-driven wellness ventures are pervasive and often spearheaded by white women, resulting in white-centric health guidance. One such venture is KINRGY, a workout and lifestyle method created by professional dancer Julianne Hough that regularly appropriates and exploits Eastern, Aboriginal, and BIPOC cultural practices. Through a critical rhetorical interrogation of the workout videos and Instagram feed of KINRGY, we assess how this method relies on cultural appropriation and New Age Orientalism to situate spirituality as the crux of universal health, thus establishing a reconfiguration of healthism into what we call “neohealthism”—a phenomenon that further obfuscates structural constraints on health, and expands the individual imperatives of healthful choices by placing metaphysical considerations on consumers’ shoulders. We theorize neohealthism through the following themes: the consumption of the Other via cultural exploitation, the question of expertise in spiritual leadership, and the intensified neoliberal imperatives that individualize health and wellness for self and the universe. 

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