Addison Rae reveals mental toll of having 70 million TikTok followers: ‘A lot of it has to do with body image’

·5 min read

Addison Rae has become a name synonymous with TikTok, as the Louisiana native quickly became one of the best known creators on the short form video app after joining in August 2019. But while being one of the most enviable girls on the internet — transitioning from TikTok star, to Instagram influencer, beauty entrepreneur and actress — the 20-year-old opened up about the difficulty of having all eyes on her.

"A lot of it has to do with body image," she told Glamour UK of negativity she faces on social media. "It's a really hard thing to deal with when you're a girl, especially going through your teens. I am 20 and my body is constantly changing, but people have this high standard around body image and say, ‘Oh, you have to look like this to look great or to look hot or to be cool or to be pretty.’ For me, a lot of people have said, ‘Oh I love how comfortable she is and she doesn't look like the beauty standard.’ It's a backhanded compliment sometimes because people will be like, ‘I'm so glad she's confident that she doesn't look perfect.’ It hurts sometimes when people say that, because I think everyone's perfect, so why is there some standard of ‘this body is the ideal body’?"

Throughout her short time as a public figure, Rae explained she's had a lot to consider about both the influence and the exposure she has and the impact that that, in turn, has on her. "I have thought a lot in the past year that [my body] doesn't really define me and I am learning to love my body and who I am, for what I am," she said.

She even admitted to being in the habit of comparing herself to others, while acknowledging that many do the same with her.

"I used to ask myself, ‘Why doesn't my body look like that? Or why isn't my hair that way? Or why is my face this way?’ Or even feature-wise, sometimes I would just really look at myself and pick myself apart for no reason. There is so much going on in the world today, adding self-esteem onto that is really tough. If you can't mentally, emotionally or physically love who you are it becomes really difficult to even be happy. I know I've not been eating the best during quarantine or maybe not working out as much and watching a lot of TV, but we need to give ourselves grace," she said. "There's this one quote that I love: ‘comparison is the thief of joy.’ That's so true because when you start comparing yourself to someone, you're just asking to be upset because you're comparing yourself to something that you will never be, because you're only you."

Much of her outlook is something that she's adopted from the people around her — both those inside and outside of the industry. However, her friend Kourtney Kardashian, 21 years Rae's senior, has provided the young celebrity with helpful insight from the Kardashian's long history in the spotlight.

"It's really inspiring to see people that are so happy in their lives and are so put together after everything they've been through,” Rae said. "That's why I look up to Kourtney a lot and her entire family – throughout everything you can lean back on your family and friends to really have that emotional and mental support. It really pulls you through at the end. Something that she told me was, 'Make sure you're always enjoying what you're doing because this is the life you're living. Make sure it's something that you're proud of and you're continuing to do the things you love.'"

Rae's family — made up of mother, Sheri Easterling, father, Monty Lopez, and her two younger brothers, Enzo and Lucas — have all joined in on her social media fame, creating content on their own individual accounts as well as creating successful family channels. And while they've been a great source of support for Rae, she also shared that she's turned to a therapist to ensure that she maintains her mental health during this crazy time.

"I started seeing a therapist, which was really helpful just to not feel so down about myself," she shared. "Self-worth is a big thing that I've been working on the past few months because it's definitely a real struggle, and it does affect you in your daily life, not having high self-worth. Therapy is a great way to work on that and it’s an outlet to speak on things that are bothering you internally. Just being able to have someone to talk to has been a big thing for me and understanding that if you let people understand you a little more, then they will."

Amongst her many accomplishments within the past 18 months, Rae even said that this would probably be what she's most proud of.

"Just staying mentally healthy has been a really big accomplishment for me," she said. "Going through the changes of life, really staying grounded, and remembering where I'm from. There's so many times that I've been like, ‘This is a lot, maybe it's mentally challenging,’ and then wanting to give up. But then I remember that I got where I am today, and that I should take every opportunity I can to just accomplish everything that I dreamed of."

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