Alexis Ren bravely opens up to fans about her struggle with an eating disorder

30 May 2017
By Fashion Quarterly

"I was in a toxic state of mind"

A post shared by ALEXIS REN (@alexisren) on

“I was in a toxic state of mind”

Ask any millennial girl who her favourite person to follow on the ‘gram is and most will mention Alexis Ren. The social media star, who has more than 9 million followers, appears to many to be the definition of #goals, but the 20-year-old model has bravely opened up in a new interview with Cosmopolitan about the truth behind her seemingly perfect photos.

A post shared by ALEXIS REN (@alexisren) on

Alexis, who sadly lost her mother to cancer when she was 17 years old, quickly gained traction on Instagram feeds when she and her then boyfriend Jay Alvarrez began travelling the world together to shoot YouTube videos in idyllic locations.

After the couple’s videos quickly went viral, Alexis became her “worst critic ever” and soon developed an eating disorder where she suffered from food guilt and was overexercising. “I felt so out of control,” she tells Cosmopolitan.

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A post shared by ALEXIS REN (@alexisren) on

“I was scared of food,” she says honestly, also revealing that when she did manage to eat – despite the duo’s demanding travel schedule – she was punishing herself with more workouts.

“Everyone around me was like, “Alexis, what are you doing?'” she says. “But I felt like my body was the only reason why people liked me.”

Working my booty using a TRX with @maggietanielian 💪🏼

A post shared by ALEXIS REN (@alexisren) on

It was only after she returned to LA once the two broke up that she got back on track again, regaining a healthy mind-set and a more positive attitude towards food. Now she works out every other day and takes yoga or Pilates classes, or works out with her personal trainer and health nutrition coach, Maggie Tanielian.

Since gaining some weight, Alexis recently she tweeted that “this is the healthiest and happiest I’ve ever been”, although she admits to Cosmopolitan that she occasionally still suffers from food guilt but she no longer gives in to it.

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Alexis’ message to her devoted fans is clear: “Looking up to girls for inspo is a beautiful thing, but comparing yourself is what creates the anxiety and self-hatred,” she says. “It’s really important that young girls know the difference.”

“It’s OK to not be OK,” she assures. “It’s all about how you feel because your body will react to how you feel. Chemically, if you are not happy, your body will not look or be happy.”

If you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder and would like to talk to someone – wherever you are in New Zealand – you can phone Healthline: 0800 611 116. It’s free and 100% confidential.
Photos: Instagram

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