Chrissy Teigen is the kind of outspoken celebrity who makes you pump your fist and yell “YESSSSSS!!!” on average, oh, once a week. From her scathing tweets clapping back at the cruelest of Internet trolls to her fearless political commentary, she’s never afraid to throw her opinion into the conversation and she usually does it with her signature humour and blessed relatability.
And her personal life is rarely off limits either. She’s been candid about her fertility struggles and open about the racism that she and her husband can face as non-white people in America. We’ve come to expect nothing less than full disclosure from our beloved gal—she’s shown us that rich, gorgeous people have stretch marks/wear Spanx/get drunk and need their husbands to remove their jewellery/try for nine years to have a baby just like us.
That’s why her choosing to speak up about her experience with postpartum depression in the April issue of Glamour magazine is so important, not only for helping tear down the stigma around mental health issues generally but for showing that depression can affect literally anyone—even the hilarious, beautiful, privileged, accomplished model/TV host/author/Sports Illustrated model with the seemingly perfect, albeit refreshingly real, family of three.
“I was so tired of being in pain. Of taking things out on people. Of not enjoying life.” @chrissyteigen shares her experience with postpartum depression for the first time in our April issue. Link in bio for Chrissy’s open letter to moms everywhere. (Photo: @miguelreveriego; hair: @davidvoncannon; makeup: @hungvanngo; styled by @jilliandavison) #ChrissyTeigen
Along with her beautifully understated cover shoot, Teigen shares the most intimate details of her experience with postpartum depression in a personal essay in the magazine, sharply describing the feelings of guilt and shame that come along with the depression.
“I wanted to write an open letter to friends and employers to explain why I had been so unhappy. The mental pain of knowing I let so many people down at once was worse than the physical pain. To have people that you respect, who are the best in the business, witness you at your worst is tough. Even though this was something I shouldn’t have to apologize for, I did want to apologize.”
Later, she acknowledges that her place of privilege means she has access to resources many don’t.
“I know I might sound like a whiny, entitled girl. Plenty of people around the world in my situation have no help, no family, no access to medical care. I can’t imagine not being able to go to the doctors that I need,” she wrote. “It’s hurtful to me to know that we have a president who wants to rip health care away from women. I look around every day and I don’t know how people do it. I’ve never had more respect for mothers, especially mothers with postpartum depression.”
I’ll just say it: I have post partum depression. So much love to @glamourmag for letting me share something that was eating me up inside for months and months. One of the most amazing things about social media is the ability to interact candidly with friends and fans and it felt so weird knowing what I was going through but not really feeling like it was the right place to speak on it. I’ve always felt genuinely close to all of you and I’m insanely relieved you now know something that has been such a huge part of me for so long. My full essay is on the @glamourmag bio.
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Perhaps most importantly is when she writes about the discrimination around mental health and the “it’ll never happen to me” feeling that befalls so many suffering from depression and anxiety and sometimes prevents them from seeking help.
“I also just didn’t think it could happen to me,” she wrote. “I have a great life. I have all the help I could need: John, my mother (who lives with us), a nanny. But postpartum does not discriminate. I couldn’t control it. And that’s part of the reason it took me so long to speak up: I felt selfish, icky, and weird saying aloud that I’m struggling. Sometimes I still do.”
That’s the special charm of Chrissy Teigen—just when you thought she couldn’t be more you, she breaks down another barrier. So often celebrities very selectively and strategically share parts of their lives to convey their Quirky Relatable Personalities (Jennifer Lawrence comes to mind) so when one with such an engaged following uses their voice to bravely shine a light on something as stigmatized as mental health and as pervasive and misunderstood as postpartum depression, it deserves a freakin’ parade.