The model and actress talks about the importance of realizing that social media can be misleading.

By Renee Cherry
March 02, 2020

Social media can be a slippery slope. A few minutes of scrolling and you can feel like everyone's out there living their best lives in the south of France while you're leading a boring existence in your office cubical.

Olivia Culpo is aware of just how easy it is to start comparing your life to the photos you see. Since the internet is pretty unavoidable at this point, she reasons, avoiding that mindset takes some effort. "It's important to develop a healthy relationship [with social media], understand it's a highlight reel, and that it's not real life," she says. (Related: Everything We Know About Olivia Culpo's Workout Routine)

Reflecting on the pressures of social media is what inspired one of Culpo's Instagram posts—and a caption that she says made her feel pretty vulnerable sharing. In the carousel post, she shared two photos, a recent snapshot and one from a few months earlier. She admits that she was going through a rough patch when the earlier photo was taken. "I was depressed," she wrote in her caption. "I had no appetite, was drinking way too much, smoking, couldn't sleep, and couldn't eat. But I was still taking photos on social media and pretending everything was great. I was going through a difficult situation that left me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually bankrupt and it had taken its toll physically." Culpo says she hoped her honesty would serve as a reminder to her followers that someone's online profile isn't a complete representation of their life. (Related: 4 Beauty Products Olivia Culpo Won't Travel Without)

Part of Culpo's strategy for dodging the negative effects of social media is to take an occasional step back. "I think that Instagram, in general, can be a rabbit hole," she says. "For example, if you're scrolling and you're feeling insecure or you're feeling depressed, you might start comparing yourself to a bunch of people." When she's on social media, she says she tries to focus on the aspects that add to her life instead. "It's important to take breaks, and it's important to understand why you use social media," she says. "It's to get inspiration, it's to communicate with friends." (Related: Olivia Culpo Just Shared Her Go-To Superfood Smoothie)

As far as her own posts, Culpo admits they don't present a complete representation of her life. "My Instagram is definitely curated," says Culpo. "I always think of my personal brand different from who I really am." Everyone has their highs and lows, no matter what they present online. "People can look beautiful in a photo and have the perfect body and Photoshop and Facetune and all of these things, but you never know what that person is really going through," says Culpo. "You never know if they're sad, depressed, going through death, or going through a relationship struggle."

So, a reminder: The next time you're looking at content from Culpo or another uber-successful celebrity or influencer, keep in mind that you're seeing a small sliver of their life.