Black women have never truly been embraced in the health and wellness industry, which is why they've created safe spaces and communities for themselves and other Black women to feel represented. "My journey to wellness was a very organic one," Yasmine Jameelah, CEO and founder of Transparent Black Girl, told POPSUGAR. In college, Jameelah was experiencing trauma and depression, leading to her gaining 100 pounds and developing GERD and PCOS. A year before graduating, Jameelah decided to take control of her health and began to learn more about alternative medicine in addition to working with a therapist.
"As I started doing that, two things were happening. I was healing my body, but I was also starting to write," she said. People would constantly tell her, "I love how transparent you are," and although that feedback was encouraging, "I felt the work was so much bigger than me and that there were so many women inspiring me to be my full self," she explained. To honor those women, Jameelah created Transparent Black Girl in 2018, a wellness collective shattering the stigma around what it means to be well in the Black community while helping Black women heal and ease into wellness.
"I just really wanted it to be a space where we just weren't afraid to have those conversations, because I also feel like wellness can be really intimidating to Black women, because I think that when we look at photos of white women surrounded by plants and drinking green juice, we don't really see ourselves represented there." She also wanted Transparent Black Girl to be a space where Black women knew that it was OK to not know much about wellness and that wellness looks different to everyone. "I believe that wellness is just as multifaceted as Black people are. For somebody, wellness might be realigning your chakras. For somebody, it might be choosing better. For somebody, it might be learning to organize your space," she explained.
The response to Transparent Black Girl has been so positive, Jameelah launched a brother platform, Transparent Black Guy, in 2019. Currently, all of the community events are virtual with free offerings such as yoga flows, meditation, breathwork, and check-ins with therapists, Jameelah said. Additionally, the Transparent and Black wellness collective will be hosting virtual Black freedom and power celebrations throughout the Juneteenth weekend.
Through all of the events and offerings, Jameelah's number one priority is that Black women, Black men, and Black people feel safe to be open and vulnerable, but she is clear that the goal is not to create division between anyone, just to prioritize Black people and Black experiences. "If you identify with Blackness, if you understand where you fall in that, then this space is for you."