Decolonize Self-Care mounts a sharply critical investigation into contemporary “self-care” practices—particularly those that embrace using mindfulness and other techniques such as tantra and yoga, as well as gluten-free and low-carbohydrate diets. The authors argue that “self-care” has become an industry, and one that is often marketed to and by wealthy, cisgender, white women in the global north.
Spurgas and Meleo-Erwin contend that the rhetoric of “feminism” is regularly co-opted in selling self-care, with wealthy white women being the primary consumer target and also those who profit from self-care entrepreneurship.
Through careful research and sharp analysis, the authors offer a vision of more radical, communal, collective, anti-racist, and anti-capitalist forms of care for chronic pain, burnout, depression, anxiety, and other conditions, which are often the result of gendered, sexualized, racialized, ableist, and colonialist traumas under late capitalism. Utilizing critical feminist disability studies, madness studies, Black feminist scholarship, decolonial theory, and other intersectional and Marxist feminist critique, the authors re-theorize care outside of and beyond what current self-care rhetorics generally allow. A smart and often laugh-out-loud read, Decolonize Self-Care speaks to academic and lay audiences alike.