Over the weekend, the model Amelia Gray Hamlin shared a deeply personal message with her Instagram followers, revealing that she has dealt with an eating disorder and has struggled with body image.
In her March 31 post, the social media star shared two bikini photos of herself. One of the pictures, featuring a red bathing suit, was taken recently. The other, showing Hamlin in a white bikini, was taken a year ago.
"I feel comfort with finally posting something that I wish I was confident enough to post long ago," she began in her caption, noting that many of her followers had been commenting on the difference between her body last year and now. Hamlin explained that last year, she wasn't okay physically or mentally. "Instead of people ever commenting on my mental stability, people commented on my weight," she added. "Usually, when people are struggling with an eating disorder it stems from your mind, and your body is a reflection of it."
Luckily, Hamlin is in a much better place today. "I could go on and on about that time of my life, but the most important part about it was waking up one morning and deciding to stop sabotaging myself," the model recalled. "My health, my physical health, my mental health and everything about myself."
Hamlin went on to explain that shortly after the second photo was taken, she got the help that she needed. She added that she decided to share her story to reach out to other people who might be experiencing something similar. "I went through this journey not for attention, not for people to pity me, but to help. I am on this earth to help people, and I know that."
From the comments underneath her long caption, it's clear that her post has touched many of her fans. "I am so thankful to you for this courageous post," one fan wrote. "Social media plays a big part of mental health and body image, so to see you sharing your beautiful story and wanting to help others is a blessing," another said. Most of the response has been positive, with Hamlin's followers expressing their gratitude over her honesty and openness.
Amelia's story is an important one—and it's continuously inspiring to see people in the public eye open up about dealing with eating disorders. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), at least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder within the United States—and eating disorders have the highest rate of mortality of any mental illness. Hopefully more celebrities will come forward to shed light on the topic of eating disorders and body image, as every time someone famous speaks out, it helps reduce the stigma surrounding the discussion of mental health.