Olivia Culpo gave her Instagram followers an important lesson in social media perception recently.
The Sports Illustrated model and former Miss Universe posted two photos last week, noting that the second image, from “a few months ago,” failed to capture her personal turmoil at the time. (You can use the arrows at the sides to navigate between the photos below.)
“I was depressed. I had no appetite, was drinking way too much, smoking, couldn’t sleep, and couldn’t eat,” Culpo wrote of the second photo. “But I was still taking photos on social media and pretending everything was great. I was going through a difficult situation that left me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually bankrupt and it had taken its toll physically. The feeling of despair is a relatable one, so I feel a responsibility to anyone else going through something difficult to say that it’s ok to not be ok.”
Culpo then guided viewers to the first image, “from the other day”: “I am looking healthier. I have my appetite back and am treating my body correctly.”
The 27-year-old reminded followers that Instagram “can trick us into thinking everything is perfect in other’s worlds.” She wrote that we all are all connected because we “navigate life with similar ups and downs; good times and bad.”
“Social media can create a crazy amount of pressure to live up to an idealistic standard of ‘perfection’ (which obviously doesn’t exist!),” Culpo noted. “Hard times happen and the most important part is putting one foot in front of the other, knowing the moment will pass, and being patient with yourself. No filter is going to take away from the normal ups and downs of life that we all have.”
Culpo did not go into detail about her “difficult situation,” but she reportedly went through a rocky breakup with NFL receiver Danny Amendola earlier this year.
If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.