"We’re all too familiar with the 'highlight REEL' of Instagram so I wanted to get REAL and tell you it’s not always as amazing as it seems," Culpo told her followers in Thursday's post

By Joelle Goldstein
July 11, 2019 07:07 PM

Olivia Culpo is getting candid about her past struggles.

On Thursday, the model, 27, opened up in an emotional post on Instagram, where she revealed that she had recently battled depression.

As she reflected on the hardships she faced in the last few months, in part by comparing two selfies that were taken then and now, Culpo stressed to her followers that “it’s ok to not be ok” and to embrace their imperfections.

“Looking at the difference between these two photos today, and thought it was important to share something with all of you. 2nd photo, a few months ago: I was depressed. I had no appetite, was drinking way too much, smoking, couldn’t sleep, and couldn’t eat,” she admitted of the second photo, which showed a paler, thinner Culpo pouting for the camera.

“But I was still taking photos on social media and pretending everything was great. I was going through a difficult situation that left me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually bankrupt and it had taken its toll physically,” she continued. “The feeling of despair is a relatable one, so I feel a responsibility to anyone else going through something difficult to say that it’s ok to not be ok.”

Olivia Culpo's selfie of present day
Olivia Culpo/Instagram

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“1st photo is from the other day, and I am looking healthier. I have my appetite back and am treating my body correctly,” she added of the other selfie that features Culpo with more color in her face and appearing healthier overall.

Culpo went on to remind her fans that social media often paints unrealistic ideas of perfection, reassuring them that “it’s not always as amazing as it seems” and that judging or comparing yourself to others is “unfair.” 

“We’re all too familiar with the ‘highlight REEL’ of Instagram so I wanted to get REAL and tell you it’s not always as amazing as it seems,” she explained. “I want to emphasize what we already know: Instagram is everyone’s best version of themselves and their lives. It can trick us into thinking everything is perfect in other’s worlds. Which is NOT true.”

“We are all more alike than we think, navigating life with similar ups and downs; good times and bad. We never really know what someone is going through, so it’s unfair to judge/compare,” Culpo continued.

Olivia Culpo's selfie from a few months ago
Olivia Culpo/Instagram

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“I hope this helps others who might be going through a hard time and feeling like they need to ‘have it all together.’ Social media can create a crazy amount of pressure to live up to an idealistic standard of ‘perfection’ (which obviously doesn’t exist!),” she said. 

In a final note, Culpo encouraged her followers to keep moving forward, noting that embracing imperfections will help connect us all.

“Hard times happen and the most important part is putting one foot in front of the other, knowing the moment will pass, and being patient with yourself. No filter is going to take away from the normal ups and downs of life that we all have,” she shared.

“Our imperfections/hardships make us all perfectly relatable, taking this journey through life together,” Culpo added. “I think the more we understand how connected that makes all of us, the easier and more rewarding this life journey can be. Love you guys!!!!!!! ❤️❤️❤️”

Olivia Culpo
Timothy Hiatt/Getty

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Culpo’s candid post comes after the model split from her ex-boyfriend Danny Amendola.

The pair first made their relationship Instagram official in February 2016, but parted ways in March 2018, before getting back together in the fall.

However, in October 2018 a source told PEOPLE that Culpo and Amendola, 33, cooled off after the Detroit Lions wide receiver was photographed getting close with Miami-based CBS sports journalist Bianca Peters.

By New Year’s Eve, Culpo and Amendola both posted nearly identical video clips of fireworks going off on a beach, leading to speculation that the pair celebrated together and had reconciled.

Despite the speculation, their reconciliation was never confirmed and a rep for Culpo declined PEOPLE’s request for comment at the time.

Olivia Culpo and Danny Amendola
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

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A few months later, Culpo and DJ Zedd, 29, sparked romance rumors after the pair got close at Coachella in April and celebrated the model’s birthday together in May.

At the time, Amendola didn’t appear to be happy about the new couple, and seemingly slammed the DJ using a line from Pulp Fiction. He also went off on his ex in a since-deleted rant, calling Culpo “f—– up” and blaming her very public “lifestyle” for their split.

Amendola concluded the message by seemingly shading Zedd again: “Not sure what’s in the future but the only thing I care about is her HAPPINESS. And if that’s dancing with scrawny [sic] little f—, so be it. I’m happy too. With that said! Liv! My beautiful ex-Gf! Carry on IG.”

Most recently, Culpo was linked to Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, 23. The duo was spotted enjoying a romantic getaway in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico this week, where they held hands and soaked in some rays.

Culpo’s rep provided no comment to PEOPLE about the status of her relationship with McCaffrey.

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