My name is Jazz Egger, and I am a model and actress, who also does activism. I have released several activism campaigns and have been featured in Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, Men’s Health and more.
In 2016, the first activism campaign of mine went viral. It was about me exposing my seemingly perfect Instagram shots by recaptioning them with what went really down behind the scenes. It has always been important to me to share the truth and bring a little bit of reality to social media.
With the beginning of the pandemic, I fell into a deep depression and had a burn out. I got diagnosed with several disorders and my life seemed to crumble. Then during the pandemic my then girlfriend broke up with me, a few months before I had a proposal planned. We were supposed to go back to Los Angeles together once the border opens back up again, but I ended up having to go by myself.
That was the kickstart of me completely losing myself and falling into a dark hole of not being able to get out of bed most days or pick up phone calls. I got abused and found myself finding comfort and distraction in medications that I later ended up abusing. All because I went from being on a roll of achieving everything I put my mind to, to burning out from being overworked and my life completely falling apart.
Then recently, a good friend of mine lost his battle to mental health. Aaron Carter. 2022 was no doubt the hardest year of my life so far. It was way too much to handle for me so I had to ask myself: Do I give up? Or do I get back up and take advantage of my pain? #YANA was born. The mental health campaign with the message, ‘You Are Not Alone’, to encourage people worldwide to not keep their struggles to themselves.
It is okay to not only share highlight reels with your followers, but the truth. Notable artists, actors, and influencers have shared their struggles with depression, loss, and social media’s pressure to be perfect. Even if this campaign only made one person feel a little less alone, I know I did the right thing and that it was worth it.
I personally felt so alone with my problems because everyone around me seemed to have their life together. That’s something that Aaron and I used to talk about a lot. How fake the media is and that there is an immense pressure on people who are in the public eye to have it all together. But the truth is, no one really does.
It’s all one big lie that we are all a part of. We show ourselves online from our best side. For what? So people on the internet think we live a perfect life? Being dishonest – especially with oneself – can be extremely exhausting and draining. It’s okay to not be okay. Even if it’s for days, weeks, months, or even years.
We are so programmed to not talk about our mental health struggles because someone could think less of us or maybe we just don’t wanna be a burden. We are expected to always function and always put a smile on, especially online.
We are all part of one big lie: faking a perfect life. Successes and joys over failures and sorrows. Because God forbid, someone finds out we are not perfect machines, but human. So we have learned to keep our struggles to ourselves, locked up in a little box inside our hearts, ready to eat us from inside out.
Unfortunately, that can lead to depression, addiction, and sometimes even death. 2022 recaps/highlight reels are currently all over social media… but what if we shared what really happened this year?
#YANA is here to #BreakTheStigma. It’s okay to talk about what we think is too scary to say out loud.
PS: It’s okay if the only thing you have achieved this year is making it to 2023. Society expects us to constantly level up but that’s not what we are meant to live for. We are meant to be in the moment and be vulnerable and be loving and maybe, just maybe, the meaning of life isn’t to constantly level up… but to just live.