There’s an Australian ‘wellness blogger’ making headlines all over the world right now.
No, not Tammy Hembrow, the fitness “inspo” goddess whose health brand is only a little tarnished by her recent unscripted, horizontal exit from Kylie Jenner‘s 21st birthday.
No, this one is an old favourite, Freelee The Banana Girl (above). You might remember Freelee from a “feud” she had with Kayla Itsines back in 2015. Freelee, who advocates eating mostly raw food, and sometimes as many as 51 bananas a day*, told the world that Itsines’ popular Bikini Body Plan was advocating starvation. Itsines took her to court, and won.
Queenslander Freelee now lives in the South American “jungle”, where she rarely wears clothes, blogs about her ‘mono-diet’ (eating large amounts of a single food, like eight pounds of potatoes in one sitting**), and avoids claims that she might really be living in a mansion, with a professional photographer on hand.
Those claims – which Freelee denies, insisting she lives in a monsoon-whipped tent – have seen her land on the front pages of American media sites lately, including The Cut.
If you think Freelee’s mix of extreme diet and titilating photo shoots is a little… unusual, you haven’t been paying attention to what’s happened to health on social media.
Try a quaint experiment. Pick up your phone, open Instagram, and do a search on #wellness.
Actually, don’t. Let me save you the trouble. Because what you’ll get is a riot of breakfasts and bums.
Beautiful bowls of rainbow-hued vegetables, untouched but for a dusting of chia seeds.
And Lycra. And bottoms. Welcome to wellness 2018.
There is kale and there is something called chard. There are breakfasts involving 25 ingredients, most of them tongue-twisters.
And there are a lot of bikinis.