In case you are not one of the Instagram Star’s 9.3 million IG followers, this is 20-year-old Alexis Ren. Alexis has made her name known on social media as well as modeling. But, while this girl has what most people would consider ‘body goals,’ she has opened up to her Twitter followers about her past struggle with an eating disorder. Her story is something that needs to be heard and she has a great message to spread, especially to her younger and impressionable audience.
Her Life Was Forever Changed 3 Years Ago By Her Mother’s Death
On January, 3 years ago, Alexis’ mother lost her battle with breast cancer. Dealing with a loss of a parent is unimaginable, especially when the child and parent have such a close and strong bond.
After her mom’s death, 18-year-old Alexis went to Australia to model and happened to gain weight while halfway around the world. After her return back to the States, her L.A. based modeling agency apparently was not happy about the weight gain. They criticized her and started telling her what she could do to improve her body. Anybody would start to feel down on themselves if someone came up to them and basically told them they were ‘flawed.’ These comments from the agency sparked a big change in Alexis’s heath and fitness; an eating disorder and over-exercising.
Another major life change happened to Alexis around the time of the eating disorder.
Alexis coped with the heartache of her mother’s passing by filling the void with someone new, a boyfriend. In an interview with Cosmo, Alexis admitted: “I tried to replace [my mom] with another person, which obviously doesn’t work out, especially when you’re young and put your faith into a person who has different intentions.” As a result, she was constantly putting this new guy before herself. This is something that commonly happens and can cause people to lose themselves in the relationship. But some relationships are just not meant to be…
Social Media Travels May Not Always Be So Picture-Perfect Behind The Scenes
Alexis had what seemed to be a ‘perfect’ life. She traveled around the world with her boyfriend and took part in a variety of modeling jobs. On top of that, she was featured in her boyfriend Jay Alvarrez’s YouTube videos. This was the ‘time in her life’ in that her appearance was constantly spotlighted in the couple’s ‘highlight reel’ of videos and Instagram posts.
The couple’s YouTube travel videos gained popularity and the attention to the couple grew online. Alexis began to critique herself on camera as she was being exposed and pressured to be this perfect person. It got to the point that the attention was so overwhelming that she admitted she was actually afraid of food.
Alexis told Cosmo: “I felt like my body was the only reason why people liked me.” She was living her life for social media purposes and her eating disorder spiraled out of control in order to maintain a ‘perfect’ physique.
Although her Instagram posts may look glamorous and happy on the outside, the girl behind the camera was not feeling that way. Last summer, Alexis and her boyfriend of 2 years broke it off and she moved on to find her own happiness.
I've gone through a lot as far as health. I overworked myself to the point of malnourishment, (as you can tell from images from last year)— Alexis Ren (@AlexisRen) April 30, 2017
She Overcame Her Obstacles And Provides All Of Us With A Beautiful Life-Lesson
People did start to notice what Alexis was doing to her body and wanted to help her. Friends and family voiced their concerns to her and Alexis’s aunt ended up introducing her to a health coach to get her life and health back on track. Alexis tweeted out:”I am now healthy and able to eat full meals without guilt. I workout because I love it…not to punish myself.”
Her message to her readers: “It’s OK to not be OK. It’s all about how you feel because your body will react to how you feel. Chemically, if you are not happy, your body will not look or be happy.”
It is not just the outward appearance that defines a person’s worth. Instead of physical traits, there is a lesson to learn on how to value people at their core and to practice self-care and self-love.
You have to admit, there is so much pressure on Instagram to be fit and #bodygoals. You have to realize that Instagram is NOT real life and people completely alter their images online.
–I had to seperate myself from what was not serving me, and take a huge step of acceptance— Alexis Ren (@AlexisRen) April 30, 2017
Alexis warns girls out there to not subject yourself into self-critique.
“Looking up to girls for inspo is a beautiful thing, but comparing yourself is what creates the anxiety and self-hatred,” she told Cosmo.
Instead of letting the disorder and pressure of social media, consumer her life, Alexis made a change for the better. She has, very recently, come out with an active-wear line that you can check out on Renactive.co
Always Remember What’s Important
Every single person in the world is NOT the same! That’s what makes our world so beautiful and diverse; the differences and flaws that make us our own individual person. While social media does have negative side effects, just know that social media is an edited reality.
Happiness is a mental state of mind and you have the power to control your happiness. Don’t create importance on someone else and compare to what they have, because at the end of the day, the most important person in your life is yourself.