As expected, Kylie’s life is more complicated than it might seem. (Getty Images)
Kylie Jenner isn’t your average 18-year-old. She’s been a reality TV star for half her life and boasts 43.7 million fans on Instagram, making her so familiar that viewers feel like they know her. But she says none of what fans see is authentic Kylie — in reality, the social media star battles major anxiety, she revealed in a story with Interview.
Jenner tells the magazine that she’s paralyzed by anxiety that’s gone from bad to worse over the past few years. “I wake up every morning with the worst anxiety. I don’t know why,” she said. “I wake up every morning at, like, seven or eight because I think that there’s a bad story about me, and I have to check. My worst fear is waking up and finding something bad about me on the internet.”
In an ideal world, Jenner told Interview, “I would probably just never dress up. I would never wear makeup, because I honestly hate wearing makeup. Lately, I’ve just been so over it. I feel like I’m way too young to wear such heavy makeup all the time. It’s just bad for your skin, but I’m always doing photo shoots or red carpets and events, so I just obviously want to look good.” She’s no stranger to criticism for her looks — between comparisons to sister Kendall and ‘did she/didn’t she’ speculation about lip injections and plastic surgery, Jenner’s appearance has been picked apart by millions.
(Photo: Steven Klein/Interview)
But while Jenner’s really come into her own fame in recent years, she says her anxiety has been around for a while. “I had a lot of anxiety when I was younger, so I would just run to this hill path in the back of my mom’s house and listen to Jack Johnson,” she told Interview. “I would listen to Jack Johnson and stare at the sky until my anxiety went away.”
Like family friend Justin Bieber, Jenner is proof that viral success, coupled with 24/7 exposure on social media, can do a serious number on someone’s emotional health. It’s no surprise that child stars often struggle with mental illness, but it’s particularly potent when you’re a child reality star — you’re the character you’re portraying, which can be difficult for adults to deal with, let alone pre-teens.
As crushing as Jenner’s fame sounds, by addressing her anxiety she’s signaling to her legion of followers that anxiety isn’t something to hide or be ashamed of.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older —18% of the population, according to the NIMH. If you or a loved one are suffering from anxiety, speak with a doctor about a treatment plan.
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