Social media has the power to foster community and connect us with friends, but it can also act as a highlight reel of perfection — only showcasing the most filtered moments of our real and often imperfect lives. While sharing a photo with your followers seems harmless, the comparison trap that it can trigger can be harmful for our self-esteem and mental well-being.
But among the shiny edits and polished captions, some celebrities have recently started using their online presence to reveal the raw, unfiltered realities of their lives — sparking an emerging trend of being more candid online. Here are some stars who have brought some much-needed bouts of honesty to social media.
While most celebrities post photos where they look their best, Drew Barrymore made an exception when she posted a selfie of herself crying with a caption that sparked conversation about mental health. “Sometimes life can just get to you and take you down for a minute,” she wrote. “Some days are great and beautiful… What I can’t hide is that some days are difficult and not so pretty.” The actress’ willingness to open up about having bad days and picking yourself back up rallied thousands of commenters to show their support and appreciation for her honesty.
The cookbook author, model, and wife of singer John Legend has gained praise in the past for her openness about postpartum depression and motherhood, and Teigen’s ongoing social media presence reflects her refreshing candor. Whether she’s posting a realistic at-home dinner that “even portrait mode can’t save,” or opening up about her inner critic challenging her “mental strength,” Teigen constantly reminds us how important it is to be open about our struggles, and to see past the mask of perfection.
When a slew of New Year’s resolutions began flooding our feeds, Pretty Little Liars actress Shay Mitchell posted a note on her Instagram story, opening up about her recent struggle with a heartbreaking mismarriage. “Sometimes it’s easier to only showcase the good times on social media, which is what leads many people to criticize it for its lack of authenticity,” she wrote. “We seldom really know or understand the struggles or hardships that other people are going through.”
TV host Lisa Joyner is known for her bubbly on-screen personality, but on Instagram, she recently opened up about the dark side of the media industry. Celebrating her 52nd birthday, Joyner posted a selfie, telling her followers, “I refuse to life or shave a few years off because many in my industry over-emphasize youth… I have wrinkles, dark circles, soft areas that used to be firm, aches that act as cues that I have been on this earth for quite a while. I have just been reflecting upon how I want to spend my remaining time on this planet. I choose honesty.”
Stand-up comedians are no strangers to experiencing the occasional awkward silence from the audience, but after the actress and comedian received backlash for underperforming at a New Year’s Eve comedy act in Miami, she took to social media to candidly own her failure. “Yes this happened,” Haddish tweeted the following morning. “I wish it was better Miami. I prayed on it and I have a strong feeling this will never happen again.”
New parenthood isn’t always perfect, and on New Year’s Day, actress Hilary Duff opened up about her own imperfect experience, taking to Instagram to (comedically) ask her followers for help. “Calling all parents of colic babies,” she wrote, along with a selfie on the couch with her new baby. “Can you ever set them down without them screaming OR waking up? We have read everything the internet has to offer… nothing besides nursing basically every hour or less helps! We have done all the obvious things… please leave magic tricks in comments. Oh and happy new year lol.”
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