20/20 Visionaries-To-Watch: Jessamyn Stanley

20/20 Visionaries-To-Watch: Jessamyn Stanley
Photo: Jade Wilson

We intended to highlight the 20/20 Visionaries-to-Watch featuring Jessamyn Stanley much earlier in 2020, but we found it wise to hold her story until it felt right to release.

When you think of the word vision, you almost immediately associate that word with sight, your sensory ability. It is something required to turn a thought into innovation. To have vision doesn’t specifically mean the ability to see something physically, but rather an intention or inclination to create change.

At the beginning of 2020, OBVIOUS had intentions of using our vision to create new stories, highlight new outlooks, and continue offering the cutting edge content that our viewers have grown to love over the years.

What started out as a promising new decade quickly turned into a dark age of disorder as COVID-19 became a global threat that altered all of our realities.

Amid the pandemic, the masks of American “justice” started to show themselves more clearly than ever before as an uprising from the Black Lives Matter movements called out the wrongful murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others at the hands of police brutality.

One thing was sure: It clouded our vision.

There needed to be some refocusing of what matters and what messaging #TeamOBVIOUS could provide to its audience that would resonate with something optimistic and hopeful.


The world has now spent more than half of the year enduring the stress of these trying times, yet we can still look towards the people making a difference as a means of inspiration.

There’s no doubt that the individuals selected in this article showcase a tenacity and touch of creativity that has shown the potential for greatness in their lives and for others.

They’ve used their heart and motivation to strive for change and create space for new generations to learn from them.

It is with great honor that OBVIOUS Magazine presents: The 2020 Visionaries To Watch.

20/20 Visionaries: Jessamyn Stanley at The Underbelly

Why is it essential for the wellness industry to become a resource accessible to all communities and not just an “elite” sector?

Jessamyn Stanley: It’s necessary for everyone to be wellend of story—hard stop. There is not one group of people more deserving of overall wellness than another. That idea has to become a vestige of a bygone era.

Marketing to a limited group of people is financially stupid above all else why limit your profit margins because you’re a hater? That’s basic. When everyone is well, everyone wins.

With an ever-evolving world, so many industries are merging with technology. What benefit does The Underbelly App bring to the tech world that hasn’t been seen before?

Jessamyn Stanley: The wellness tech landscape is incredibly white, heteronormative, fitness-obsessed, and painfully fatphobic. The Underbelly is a radical alternative- instead of yoga for some of us; we’re yoga for the rest of us. We make space for everyone to be themselves.

What words of encouragement would you give to the next generation that will follow in your footsteps?

Jessamyn Stanley: DO YOUR OWN THING, no matter what anyone else says. Always do your own thing. Follow the drum beating deep within, and don’t second guess your gut. All the answers are inside of you.

What strategy would you suggest to anyone and their ventures directly impacted because of COVID-19?

Jessamyn Stanley: My only strategy is to let go of life as it was before COVID-19. Hanging on to the past limits future potential. When I feel hindered by our new reality, the only moments are when I refuse to let go of the past.

Don’t obsess over the future, either there’s no way to predict what will come next. Now more than ever is the time to strap in for the ride and enjoy the present moment.

Photo Credit: Jade Wilson

View the entire 20/20 Visionaries List here.


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