A quick scroll through your Instagram feed will show the glamorous lives of it-girls and supermodels who seemingly have it all. But do they actually? Those snippets into their inner world are only just a glimpse of their reality and can definitely be deceiving. Harsh criticisms from the media and unrealistic expectations from the fashion industry warrant thick skin and a strong sense of self that many may not have. An industry where the way you look ultimately equates to your success, and your body and face are constantly under a microscope can definitely take a toll on your self-esteem and self-worth.
The reality is, that mental health issues don’t discriminate and due to the often toxic nature and immense pressures of the industry, many successful models struggle with deep insecurities, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and even eating disorders. So while it may look as though they have it together, deep inside they may be struggling just like anyone else.
According to a study done by Model Alliance, more than two-thirds of models say they experience anxiety or depression. The modeling industry can be incredibly tough, and in a world where being expendable is the standard, mental health needs to be a priority, yet it’s rarely discussed and often stigmatized.
Prioritizing Your Mental Health
Everyone may experience mental health issues from time to time, and it’s okay to not always be okay. Regardless of what industry you may work in, prioritizing your mental health is essential. If you don’t know where to start, here are some simple ways to practice self-care, put yourself first, and prioritize your mental health and well-being. There are different ways to do this. You might take some time away from the camera. Perhaps you’ll flick through your photo books looking at your best shots, helping you feel good. It might just be that you need to take some time with family and friends. The point being is that you need to prioritize mental health at certain points in your life. If you don’t, you’ll just end up feeling worse.
For a model, your social media presence is often an important aspect of your career. However, constant judgment and criticism from social media trolls and the media can easily weigh on your self-esteem and negatively impact your mental health. When social media gets overwhelming, it can be helpful to take a digital detox and turn your phone or remove the application from your phone. While it can be hard to make this adjustment as most of us constantly have our phones on us, try taking time to connect with nature and loved ones in the present moment.
It’s no secret that rest is super important to feel your best. A lack of sleep can make you feel on edge, heighten emotions, and even exacerbate symptoms of anxiety or depression. For models, early morning shoots and long hours can be draining, affecting both your physical and emotional well-being. When you’re feeling exhausted or emotionally drained, it’s vital to take some time for yourself and get proper rest. If necessary, it may be helpful to take some time off from work to simply rest and recharge. When you feel well-rested, you’ll likely find you’re able to take on life’s challenges with more resilience, ultimately feeling better inside and out.
Talk to Friends in the Industry
Modeling can come with a lot of challenges — long hours, unrealistic expectations, difficult clients, and constant pressure. When these difficulties are affecting your mental health, it can help to talk to someone you can relate to and understand what you’re going through. If you have a mentor or a trusted friend in the industry, it may be beneficial to reach out to them to talk about what you’re feeling. Being able to express yourself to those who understand can be incredibly helpful, and they may even have lifestyle tips to share that may help you overcome challenges as a model.
For some people, seeking outside support from a mental health professional may be important and also incredibly effective. However, many traditional therapists often prescribe medications that come with a long list of side effects that can even worsen your symptoms. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, also known as TMS Therapy, is an alternative form of therapy that’s very effective at treating anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions. TMS is a personalized and non-invasive form of therapy that uses gentle magnetic pulses to awaken parts of the brain that are inactive and may be contributing to your symptoms. The treatment course which lasts roughly six weeks is completely safe, has a high success rate, and is completely medication-free.