It is seductively simple to look at someone and believe their lives are better than yours. Easier, more exciting. Especially if that person happens to be beautiful and a celebrity. But here's the thing: You can't believe everything you see. I know everyone says this but it bears saying again. Especially when someone is reflecting on their year and the tragedy behind them. Shay Mitchell's New Year's post about her miscarriage is a painful, important reminder that you really, truly don't know what anyone is going through in this world.
The former Pretty Little Liars star took to her Instagram Story on New Year's Day to look back at 2018, much like so many people all over social media. The Canadian-born actress initially started the post by sharing a series of photos and memories of fabulous trips, time spent with friends, family, fashion... the usual envy-making post so many of us have seen on social media. But the last two pictures in the series changed everything. Mitchell prefaced the final pics by writing "Lastly, although this was an amazing year, it did not come without some hardships," as per Teen Vogue. After which she shared a sonogram picture, and a tiny broken-heart emoji.
It seems the actress suffered a miscarriage in 2018 and didn't share this news with her fans. She went on to explain in a lengthy post:
We all have to deal with various struggles and challenges in life. And sometimes it's easier to only showcase the good times on social media, which is what leads many people to criticize it for its lack of authenticity. Having so many people follow me on Instagram and read my posts is both incredibly humbling and hugely uplifting. The support and affection that so many of you show me lifts me up during even my darkest days, one of which happened last year after I miscarried and lost the child of my hopes and dreams.
Beyond being an actress, Mitchell hosts her own lifestyle channel on YouTube. Her social media accounts have more than 20 million followers, and a scroll through her feed provides a well-curated image of Mitchell as an adventurer, a pet-lover, a friend, and an independent spirit. Nothing that would belie a different sort of struggle underneath the veneer.
And that's exactly the reason Mitchell wanted to share her news with fans, as she wrote on Instagram, as per Us Weekly:
In the spirt of the new year, I think that we need to remember that we are all on this journey together—in good times and in bad—and to remind ourselves that we seldom really know or understand the struggles and hardships that other people are going through. So, for 2019, let's all try to be a little more compassionate, empathetic, patient and thoughtful with each other.
In 2019, I hope Shay Mitchell continues to heal from her loss. And I hope people genuinely take a moment to remember that a picture is not worth 1000 words like we were always told.
It's truly just a picture; it's not the whole story.
After a very frustrating first birth experience, this Deaf mother wanted a change. Will the help of two Deaf doulas give the quality communication and birth experience this mom wants and deserves? Watch Episode Four of Romper's DoulaDiaries, Season Two, below, and visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for more episodes.