Looking at Haile Thomas’s Instagram — a gorgeously curated assemblage of #veganfoodgoals with pics of her at celebrity events and of her travels across the globe thrown in for good measure — you might imagine that the 16-year-old behind it has things all figured out. Just take a look at a few of her many accomplishments already: youth health activist, Black Girls Rock! 2016 M.A.D. Girl, certified health coach, and teen vegan chef. She must stay winning, right?
But tbh, life, unlike the flawless aesthetic of an IG collage, isn’t perfect for anyone. And Haile took to Insta three days ago (July 17) to keep things 100 about her own struggles. “Today I want to be honest with you all … often on social media, we can put on masks … and I for one am guilty of doing this,” she writes. “On days that I feel frustrated or overwhelmed or upset, I still make the decision to post a picture of an acai bowl with a happy tone in the text or add cooking a dish I’m making to my story when I honestly didn’t feel like it. But I show up and put on for social media, and well, I think most people do.”
She continued, “This past weekend, I’ve been seriously not myself, feeling down, thinking about how I’ve lost a lot of friends over the years because of what I do … I simply couldn’t think of what to say about a Buddha bowl today. And that’s ok.” Can the church say, “Amen”?
This post is super important because it reminds us all that social media life isn’t real, it’s created — created to show the best of ourselves and our circumstances. It also reinforces this truth: Your mental health is just as important as your physical health — you could be in the best shape of your life, but if you feel bad on the inside, no amount of healthy eats and workout routines will fix that. (In fact, a recent study in the United Kingdom showed that Instagram was actually the worst app for teens’ mental health.)
Props to Haile for speaking her truth, and whenever you feel like you’re really going through it, know that you’re not alone. Think your case of the blues is just too deep for you to handle on your own? Call the Crisis Call Center at 800-273-8255 or click here for a list of specific help hotlines.
Today I want to be honest with you all….often on social media we can put on masks…and I for one am guilty of doing this 😔 On days that I feel frustrated or overwhelmed or upset, I still make the decision to post a picture of an acai bowl with a happy tone in the text or add cooking a dish I’m making to my story when I honestly didn’t feel like it 🤦🏽♀️ But I show up and put on for social media, and well, I think most people do. But, this past weekend I’ve been seriously not myself, feeling down, thinking about how I’ve lost a lot of friends over the years because of what I do…not who I am. That has really bothered me, and I figured why not be real and honest about LIFE for once, can't hurt right? 🤷🏽♀️ What I do on social media and in the world is my passion & calling…I put a lot of care, time, energy, and effort into everything I do, and the upside is I have earned amazing opportunities to travel to awesome places and often meeting and interacting with impressive people. It is amazing and honestly beyond my wildest dreams. I am so grateful. 💗 But one downfall I did not expect, was disconnection and even isolation from those I consider my friends, and this is also true for family members who are my age. Being my best-self and doing what I love seemingly has pushed people away from me because…well I don’t really know for sure. 😕 But, It has been hard to experience this, because with each disappearing friendship, or underdeveloped relationship, I’ve discovered the root of it appears to be associated with my "career" and life outside of who I really am as a person. In my everyday life I never lead with what I do, I'm silly and loving and obsessed with conspiracy theories and thinking way too deep about everyday things 😂 That's just who I am outside of settings where I need to be professional and polished. However, In many cases I am looked at as the entrepreneur, CEO, the speaker, the chef…and not just Haile. And there is definitely nothing wrong with that… I've earned those titles. I am proud of my accomplishments. ✨ Continued in comments…✨✨✨