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Racial Microaggressions

Recognizing Racial Microaggressions and Creating an Inclusive Health and Fitness Space

by Sonal Shukla

The fitness industry has largely been created by, and for, white people. As a result, the systems that exist today can sometimes be alienating for people of color. In light of this exclusionary environment, it’s important to be aware of racial microaggressions – subtle messages from society that exclude or insult certain groups without intending to do so. Here we present some examples and points to help create an inclusive space in health and fitness communities.

Diversity is important in the fitness industry. What’s important is not the color of your skin or the shape of your eyes – it’s how you look at yourself.

“The biggest challenge for many people when dealing with race is realising that we are all human and everyone has a shared humanity.” No matter what race you’re from, everyone has something in common when it comes to sharing a common humanity.

When you are conscious, you realise that we all have suffered and survived in the same way for thousands of years just like anyone else alive today. The problem is that most of us, in our everyday lives, normalize each other’s differences and stay “functionally comfortable” with them. We are no different from any other group of people in our daily interactions. We speak different languages, we have different customs and traditions, we dress differently and have varied skin tones; however, we can overcome these differences when we become more aware.

However, the truth is that even though we are all the same people with the same thoughts and feelings – what not everyone knows is that too often some members of one ethnic group act as if they “own” their community’s culture – which isn’t always true. We all need to remember that there are no superior or inferior cultures and people; they just exist. If we keep this in mind, then we can avoid all of the misunderstandings that come from seeing someone’s actions as a reflection on a whole group of people.

If you want to start understanding microaggressions and how they affect your life, then understanding the term racial microaggressions is a good place to start.

Racial microaggressions are described as brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to people of color because racism is still part of our culture today.

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