Models are beautiful and make money for being adored by many. With the invention of social media, aspiring models can create a following without being signed to an agency. Becoming “Instagram famous” is something models strive for; it can be a means to be signed by a well-known modeling agency, promote your own business, like a clothing line or makeup,and some are able to quit their 9-5 to travel the world. Regardless of the reason for becoming online famous , there’s more to the imagery you see and the captions you read. Sometimes, even when lying on a beach overseas, the model can be fighting a serious internal battle.


Everyone loves attention, but what happens when it all comes overnight? For model Alexis, the cult-like personality she developed via Instagram actually created a downward spiral that the adoration of 13 million fans could not fix. She is a 20 year old model from California admitted to fans that she developed an eating disorder to keep her body in shape for social media. Gaining fame almost instantly, She felt the pressure to maintain her body to keep the admiration, believing her image was her only appeal. Overtime, she became overwhelmed with guilt for simply eating a meal. “It was a vicious cycle where when I did eat, I just felt worse and worse, so I didn’t want to eat and ate less and less and less.” The people closest to her noticed the changes, as her health began taking a turn for the worse, and expressed their concern for herself, yet she met their worry with justification. “Everyone around me was like ‘Alexis, what are you doing?’. But it felt like my body was the only reason people liked me.”

 

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your girl getting dark 🙊

A post shared by Alexis Ren (@alexisren) on


Developing infections and flu-like symptoms was a wake up call she desperately needed. Malnourishment combined with overworking and stress led to her eventually breaking down. While sick, she also dealt with a breakup with model/producer boyfriend Jay, with whom she built her social media following. This inspired her road to better health. Teaming up with health and nutrition expert Maggie, She has developed healthier eating and exercising habits. During her rehabilitation journey, Alexis decided to document her progress and share her lowest points with fans in hopes to inspire maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Alexis took to Twitter to tell fans “I am now healthy and able to eat full meals without guilt”. Another post read, “I had to separate myself from what was not serving me, and take a huge step of acceptance. This is the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been”.


Her story proves that no matter how anyone’s life looks online, people can be suffering when they log off. It is easy to see people on Instagram and be jealous, but Alexis has inspired us to see the importance of loving ourselves as we are. Natural comparison is healthy, however trying to maintain a lifestyle that’s purpose is to please others can have detrimental results. Luckily, women like her have stepped up and used her platform to encourage young women to believe in themselves and achieve their goals in a healthy way. Live a life worth hitting the like button, especially offline. Like Alexis, you never know who is watching.