• Well Defined

Ellie Jade - Transformational Coach & Freelance Photographer - ‘This Is Wellbeing’

‘This Is Wellbeing’ – A photography campaign to promote diversity and inclusion in health, fitness and wellbeing.

I know you’ve seen it too. You go to a yoga class, a wellbeing workshop, or panel talk on mental health, and the demographic of teachers, speakers and attendees is largely very similar - white, slim, young, able-bodied. Right?

As a transformational coach and a freelance photographer, I work and collaborate with people in the health, fitness and wellbeing industry a lot and quickly noticed this lack of diversity. I happen to fit that image of ‘health and wellbeing’ perfectly, which means I rarely feel out of place, uncomfortable, or unwelcome in the spaces mentioned above because of my appearance or background. However, this sadly isn't the case for so many.

Research shows that people in underrepresented or minority groups are some of the most likely to struggle with mental health issues.1 So how is it that the very industry shown to be hugely beneficial to our mental health, is the least accessible to them?

As a photographer, I understand the power of imagery and know that the visual messaging around health, fitness and wellbeing is a huge factor in this lack of diversity. The images used by a brand have the power to make some people feel celebrated and invited with open arms; whilst making others feel unwelcome and unworthy.

This photography series campaign, called ‘This Is Wellbeing’, aims to promote more diversity and inclusion in health, wellbeing and fitness by starting to change that visual message. Since July of last year, I have been collaborating with enthusiasts and professionals in the industry who have been impacted by the lack of diversity and inclusion - from medical doctors and yoga teachers, to athletes and brand consultants (including the Founder of Well Defined, Chelsea!). I photographed them all individually, and then gathered their thoughts on what health and wellbeing means to them and how the lack of diversity has impacted themselves and others.

I am aware that this is a complex and multi-faceted issue rooted in history and some photographs or a blog post cannot solve it. On the other hand, we can all make a small difference and we therefore need more people in this industry to speak up and take action. If you are an individual who attends workshops or fitness classes – make sure you are following and supporting the work of those who are underrepresented. If you are an entrepreneur, hold your events in physically accessible spaces and personally reach out to invite those who might not feel as welcome initially. If you are a bigger business make sure you consistently employ, collaborate with and model people who are culturally, visually and physically diverse.

Below are just a few of the individuals who are part of the ‘This is Wellbeing’ campaign, with snippets of what they had to say.

To see the full ‘This Is Wellbeing’ campaign and photo series, please click here. For any questions about the campaign or business enquiries please email

Photo Byline: Chelsea Cox, @welldefined_ on Instagram.

Photo by Ellie Jade Photography, @elliejadephotography_

Chelsea Cox founded Well Defined to support women in business and female-led brands make money and noise, she is a huge advocate for women supporting women and connections over competitors.

Chelsea said “There is still a long way to go to make the wellness industry as inclusive and diverse as it should be and we can all be a part of that change. If you are someone within the industry pushing this message, start featuring different body shapes, invite people along to your events, workshops and classes that perhaps would feel intimidated to attend initially, listen to people more, understand what it means to be something that isn't the traditional "fitspo" image”.

Photo Byline: Tosin Sotubo, @mindbodydoctor on Instagram

Photo by Ellie Jade Photography, @elliejadephotography_

Tosin Sotubo (aka the Mind Body Doctor) is an NHS and Private GP, clinical entrepreneur and diversity advocate.

Tosin said “Health to me is inclusivity and treating the patient as an individual. We live in such a culturally diverse population, but we often have a one treatment or one advice fits all approach. We have to realise that people from different backgrounds can live very differently and our health often reflects this”.

Photo Byline: Rebecca Legon, @rebeccalegon on Instagram.

Photo by Ellie Jade Photography, @elliejadephotography_

Rebecca Legon is the Founder of VIVA Manchester lifestyle magazine. She is a diversity model and disability activist represented by Zebedee Management. She was featured on ‘Britain’s Missing Top Model’ and is a Charity fundraiser for Limb Power.

Rebecca said “In my late teens, I started to really struggle with looking different. I would try to disguise my disability by wearing baggy clothes and standing back in a crowd to avoid myself being noticed. Thankfully I now live a much healthier life and am a mum of two, but admittedly I still feel disassociated with the health and wellbeing industry. For years, I have wanted to go to a yoga class but I haven’t had the courage to go and be the only person with one leg in a room with super flexible people. Together, we must promote more diversity and inclusion in this space”.

Photo Byline: Saima Majid, on Instagram.

Photo by Ellie Jade Photography, @elliejadephotography_

Saima Majid is a transformation and wellbeing coach and mental health advocate.

Saima said “Things are very slowly changing in the health and wellness space but we still have a long way to go. Living in the UK and therefore amongst a hugely diverse demographic of people, I would like the health and wellness space to encompass elements from all of these incredible cultures. Not only is this better for our health but also the unity of humanity”.

Photo Byline: Hannah Wallace, @hannah_wallace11 on Instagram.

Photo by Ellie Jade Photography, @elliejadephotography_

Hannah Wallace is a speaker, writer, and diversity model represented by Zebedee Management. She is also the host of the ‘Finding Grace’ podcast.

Hannah said “I believe with a passion that we need to showcase all forms of diversity and not be afraid of difference in the wellness world. We need to knock its perfect shiny edges off and inspire people that different is good and show that we are all represented (and not just in a token way)”.

Photo Byline: Lynette Greenaway, @yogasista on Instagram.

Photo by Ellie Jade Photography, @elliejadephotography_

Lynette Greenaway is a wellness coach, yoga teacher, and facilitator of women’s circles.

Lynette said “Although exercising self-care is incredibly important for all, many black women feel excluded from the wellness space, which is largely dominated by those who don't share the same cultural traumas, health concerns, body types and more. I want black women to know that wellness is our birthright, and that self-care, self-love, and self-empowerment are things that we do”.


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