I was recently browsing online for an alteration shop. I bought a jumpsuit for my book tour, and while it fit like a dream, the sleeves were decidedly strange—but easily adjusted in the hands of a tailor. I came across a highly-rated shop just a few miles away and clicked through to their website. I saw dozens of photos of men in suits, and though the site said it offered tailoring on all clothes (including dresses), I immediately closed the site and resumed my search. The first impression I received from this business was that their offerings were not designed for me.

When I launched the first group Whole30 in July 2010, it was completely free—and I truly believed that was enough to make people feel included and supported. The program rules, the daily support, even the resources I had created, like a shopping list and meal template, were all freely available to anyone who wanted to do the program. And as the program grew to hundreds, then thousands, then millions of participants, I created dozens of handouts, shared countless recipes, answered thousands of questions, and wrote hundreds of articles to help people achieve success–all offered for free on my website. I thought this alone made the program accessible. It turns out I had a lot to learn.

Whole30’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) values

It wasn’t until I started doing my own anti-racism work in 2017 that I began to see “accessibility” through a broader lens. As the Whole30 team began exploring the subjects of privilege, diversity, equity, inclusion, and representation in our own work, I began to realize that the free nature of the program was just one factor in whether or not people felt like the Whole30 could be for them. When someone came to the Whole30, through any outlet, be it our website, social media, newsletter, or testimonials:

  • Did they see themselves—how they looked, loved, and lived—in the images we featured?
  • Were their culturally significant foods represented in the meals and foods we shared?
  • Were the resources and recipes we were creating demonstrably culturally appreciative?
  • Could they find support for their journey and limitations without feeling as though their Whole30 was somehow “less than?”
  • Did the creators we work with adequately represent our broad, diverse community?
  • Was each person’s unique lived experience not only acknowledged, but celebrated?

Much like my search for a tailor, people coming to the Whole30 want to see themselves in the program, testimonials, recipes, and resources. They want to feel like it was built not just for them, but with them in mind. If our mission is to change lives one person at a time through the Whole30, will that one person—whoever they are, whatever their lived experience—come to our site and think, “Yes, this is for me!”

For a long time, for many people, the answer was no. And through ongoing education, intentionality, and conscientiousness in all of our business practices, we have been working to change that. Our new Creator Hub is one such effort that marries our accessibility efforts with our values around equitable pay, representation, and transparency.

The Whole30 Creator Hub

In 2021, we began building a comprehensive website hub as part of our ongoing commitment to build inclusive spaces across all of our platforms and in our business practices. This space will allow us to attract and collaborate with a diverse set of creators, nurture those long-term relationships, and serve as a model for pay equity and transparency in the health and wellness industry. It’s important to note that this hub is only the start; the first iteration of an ongoing project that will expand as we learn and grow with our community. 

To anchor this hub, we have created our Content Creator Rate Sheet that serves as a guide to minimum rates offered for content creation fees. We will use this as a transparent baseline for all contracts moving forward, to empower our internal team and external talent to create mutually beneficial value in our shared storytelling. Through our equitable compensation practices, prominent recognition as experts in our community, and a conscientious effort to uplift their voices across our platforms, we will honor the value our talent brings to our brand through sharing their lived experience, knowledge, skillset, and creative work.

It is our hope that this project will allow us to attract, build long-term relationships with, and fairly and equitably compensate copywriters, recipe creatives, food and lifestyle photographers, and video creators. It also allows us to stay connected to those looking to create for Whole30, provides a mechanism for us to receive feedback, and encourages us to continue to evolve our offerings on the hub. Of equal importance, we hope to provide a standard for other health and wellness brands to create similarly fair and transparent policies rooted in their diversity, equity, and inclusion values.

As we roll out this new offering, we look forward to working with our community and creatives to build on this model to achieve the impact we hope to have. It’s an important step in our initiatives, but only the first step in the iteration of this project. I am certain those of you equally invested in Whole30’s mission, vision, and values will continue to provide helpful feedback, guidance, and accountability in these efforts. Thank you for your ongoing support for Whole30, our program, and the talented creators we work with.

Best in health,

Melissa

Collaborate with Whole30

If you’re a creator and would like to be considered for contract projects with Whole30, click here to fill out a simple Google form. We’re particularly looking for copywriters, recipe creatives, food and lifestyle photographers, and Reel/TikTok creatives, but we do have opportunities for other creators. If you’re a good fit for an upcoming project, we’ll get in touch.

Published by Melissa Urban

Melissa Urban is a 7x New York Times bestselling author (including the # bestselling The Whole30) who specializes in helping people establish healthy boundaries and successfully navigate habit change. She has been featured by the New York Times, People, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Today Show, and Good Morning America, and is a prominent keynote speaker on boundaries, building community, health trends, and entrepreneurship. She lives in Salt Lake City, UT with her husband, son, and a poodle named Henry.

Melissa Urban

Co-Founder / CEO

Melissa Urban is a 7x New York Times bestselling author (including the # bestselling The Whole30) who specializes in helping people establish healthy boundaries and successfully navigate habit change. She has been featured by the New York Times, People, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Today Show, and Good Morning America, and is a prominent keynote speaker on boundaries, building community, health trends, and entrepreneurship. She lives in Salt Lake City, UT with her husband, son, and a poodle named Henry.