The star posted a candid video to share a powerful message about empathy and acceptance.
Social media allows everyone to present the "best version" of themselves to the world by curating and filtering to perfection, and that's one of the main reasons why it can have negative effects on your mental health. At the same time, social media has also become a powerful tool for spreading mental health awareness. (See Instagram's #HereforYou campaign.)
Celebs have become critical in spreading this message. Many celebs regularly use social media to relate to their fans by sharing their own insecurities and behind-the-scenes struggles—especially mental ones. (Take for example Kourtney Kardashian andKristen Bell who both recently opened up about their personal struggles with anxiety.)
Jane the Virgin actress Gina Rodriguez is the latest celeb to share an authentic post about her struggle with anxiety with a moving Instagram video. The clip is part of photographer Anton Soggiu's 'Ten Second Portrait' series, a collection of candid videos in which emotions play out on subjects' faces for ten seconds. Watching the video at first glance without reading the caption, the bare-faced actress looks happy with subtle uncertainty. But the accompanying text reveals that the video captures her in a moment of anxiety.
In her caption, Gina shared a message she wanted to tell herself in the video: "I wanted to protect her and tell her it's ok to be anxious, there is nothing different or strange about having anxiety and I will prevail."
My beautiful friend @antonsoggiu came to visit from Norway and he included me in his magical art. TEN SECOND PORTRAITS. It's always great to be in front of his lens but this time it was just me. Bare and exposed in the streets of la. No makeup. No styling. Just me. I suffer from anxiety. And watching this clip I could see how anxious I was but I empathize with myself. I wanted to protect her and tell her it's ok to be anxious, there is nothing different or strange about having anxiety and I will prevail. I like watching this video. It makes me uncomfortable but there is a freedom I feel maybe even an acceptance. This is me. Puro Gina.
While it might be easy to assume from her feed that she's constantly happy (she definitely has one of the most infectious smiles in Hollywood), her video is an important reminder that celebrities have their ups and downs just as much as anyone. In fact, earlier this year, after acting out a panic attack for an episode of Jane the Virgin, she tweeted: "Last year I got [panic attacks] real bad and was way too familiar with them to not be able to play that. They suck. But I'm getting stronger."
Only one-third of people suffering from anxiety disorders receive treatment, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, meaning over half of people living with anxiety are unaware, ashamed, or otherwise reluctant to seek help. Add to that the fact that, ironically, Instagram is linked to increased feelings of depression and anxiety, and it's clear we need open messages like Gina's now more than ever to help erase the stigma around mental health issues and provide support for those who are suffering.