'It Can Happen To Anybody': Chrissy Teigen On Depression
Chrissy Teigen's candid Q&A on her struggles with postpartum depression and the pressures of social media was one of the highlights at the fifth annual Beautycon, which went down in Los Angeles this past weekend.
The two-day event featured a star-studded lineup, with appearances from Laverne Cox, Amber Rose, Tyra Banks, Ingrid Nilsen, Adriana Lima, Yara Shahidi, Simone Biles, Jaden Smith, our girl Sophia Amoruso, and many more in celebration of "real friends and fake lashes," as one promo sign put it.
One of the biggest moments of the weekend a jam-packed Sunday afternoon panel with the Twitter Queen of Trump Shade and all-around badass Chrissy Teigen. In conversation with TV personality Zuri Hall, Teigen didn't pull any punches as she got super real about her struggles with depression after giving birth to her daughter, the drawbacks of social media and the difficulty of finding work-life balance.
Check out the highlights from her talk below, which have been edited for length and clarity:
On stepping into the role of Twitter Clapback Queen:
“I was always a clapback-er, but on social media, it's different. It took a really, really long time [to get comfortable with the way it functions]. Seven, eight years ago, I made jokes that I can make now, but did not go over well [at the time]. I would lose sponsorships and lose brands.
"Now I can kind of get away with it, because people know that that's my personality. And people appreciate somebody outspoken. But it's something you grow into, and it's something you don't quite ever get used to.”
On the pressure social media platforms create to look perfect all the time:
“I look at the Photoshopping and the Facetuning and all the apps, and everything that goes into creating, and I feel insanely inadequate. I really want to be that person for you all that says, ‘You don't need that fucking shit.’ But trust me, it's in my head. I feel like no one knows what a real face looks like anymore, and that kills me.
“I’ve been naked on shoots with people, and let me just say: Everyone has stretch marks. And every time I see those stretch marks I'm like, ‘Girl, yes.’ It makes me feel better. So if more of us did that kind of shit, how many more people would feel better? I think that if more and more people show those kinds of things, that would really help all of us, because you don't have to pretend that everybody looks like their Facetuned [picture].”
On the importance of unplugging and letting your guard down:
“I love eating bad. I love drinking. But I think there's a fine balance with everything. I think it's important to take some time away for yourselves. Take some time away and really relax. And really relax without your phones. It’s so important.”
On realizing she had postpartum depression:
"The first thing that really helped me out was realizing that I had it, because you don't feel like you're a crazy person anymore. For me, the reason I knew I had it was because the couch, to me, was just my everything. I didn't have the same interests anymore, I didn't have this love for cooking, I didn't want to read, I didn't want to read Twitter, I didn't want to read books. I was very short with every answer I had. And every little thing made me mad.
"When I went to my doctor, he looked right in my eyes and they were maybe a millimeter full of [tears], and he could tell right away.
"The thing with postpartum is that it doesn't happen right after you have the baby. It takes a little bit of time to develop. So I think it's important for everybody to know that it sometimes just takes somebody else to call you out on it, because we all by nature want to pretend that we're really strong and we got this, and we can do this, and we can push through it.
"But it doesn't happen that way. Sometimes you need help. And I've been on something called Lexapro and I will say I don't know what I would do without it. I don't know if my days would be as good without it. Would I prefer not having to take something? Absolutely, but it works for me.
"It can happen to anybody. When you're in that hole, you feel like you'll never get out of it ever again. But definitely reach out to people. Don't be ashamed to talk about it. I think my whole thing with it was that I wasn't afraid to joke about it with anybody. I'd be like, ‘Listen, I have depression.’ You just make that word a thing. Own it. Don't let people be freaked out by the word ‘depression.’"
On how she manages a work-life balance—especially as a new mom:
“The honest truth is we have a lot of help. We have people that live with us. My mom lives with us. We have a nanny during the day. We are just really lucky that we are able to have that help. I look around my house every day and I say, ‘I do not know how anyone could do this alone.’
"And I feel this insane gratitude to my mom who did it alone, or any moms who work and do it—and those who don’t. It's tough, and I think it's spectacular and wonderful.”
Words: Deena Drewis
Photos: Sansho Scott and Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com