Chrissy Teigen makes her living being an authentic person. After initially coming into the public eye as a model and then marrying singer John Legend, she is now arguably one of the most famous people on the internet. She has amassed more than 30 million followers on her social media platforms, has two bestselling cookbooks and her own line of cookware at Target, hosts her own television show... the list goes on. And let's not forget her adorable children, the sweet little icing on all that cake. But life isn't perfect. Teigen admits she found postpartum depression "embarrassing" when she realized she was struggling with the condition after her daughter was born, and it brings up an excellent point about how a person's public persona can affect the way they feel about themselves.
When Chrissy Teigen gave birth to the precious, precious 3-year-old girl we know as Luna Legend back in 2016, she thought everything was fine. Sure, she was experiencing some strange aches and pains, feeling sad all the time, had zero energy to the point where she had a hard time walking up the stairs, but she didn't question any of it. She didn't want to call it postpartum depression. Why? Well for one thing, as she wrote in a 2017 essay for Glamour, she felt guilty for not feeling happy; "How can I feel this way when everything is so great? I’ve had a hard time coming to terms with that, and I hesitated to even talk about this, as everything becomes such a 'thing.'”
Teigen went on to explain in a recent interview with Net-A-Porter that acknowledging the fact that she was suffering from postpartum depression felt embarrassing, especially because she was living a life full of privilege and support:
I felt bad [about it] because we had so many resources. John was great and helpful. My mom was here… I was embarrassed.
The mom of two continues to struggle with her own personal brand of stigma, that she is somehow less entitled to suffer from postpartum depression (a condition no one can control and that affects one in nine women, as per the CDC) because of her blessed, happy life. As she wrote in her Glamour essay:
I also just didn’t think it could happen to me. 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.
Here's the thing: no one has to feel bad about developing postpartum depression. It's difficult no matter what your living circumstances might look like. The most important thing, as Teigen is trying to do via her social media influence for Maternal Mental Health Month with her #MyWishForMom campaign, is to try to end the stigma. Give women a clear idea of what the warning signs can look like, offer outlets for them to seek help.
And never make any mother feel bad for feeling bad. Not ever.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741. You can also reach out to the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 or the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386, or to your local suicide crisis center.