Rugby player and former Australian National Bobsleigh team member, Simon Dunn, recently offered a candid and personal message on Instagram where he basically broke down some of the myths of ‘Insta-life.’
“The online persona I show you is all photoshoots, parties and magazine covers,” began Dunn.
And in truth, scrolling through his Instagram feed, viewers are treated to a long list of outtakes from photoshoots and magazine covers like his recent DNA Magazine cover.
But the woofy Mr. Dunn felt he needed to make a confession, adding, “This hasn’t always been entirely the truth.”
“Earlier this year, I found myself back in Australia, living in a country town in my mother’s spare room and financially broke,” shared the 32-year-old athlete. “Having to rebuild my life at the time felt like a monumental task. I honestly didn’t think I could do it.”
In the face of his financial and emotional adversity, Dunn admits he stopped taking care of himself, “drinking most weekends away,” and felt he’d hit a low point in his life.
“Only weeks earlier I was living in London with my partner, running my own business, attending every party I was invited to, appearing in countless photoshoots and magazines,” he wrote. “Before this I was in North America representing Australia in bobsleigh, training and competing, whilst getting flown to media gigs and appearances all around the world.”
After publicly living his passion for showing the world that out and proud athletes exist, Dunn says he felt he’d failed and “let so many people down.”
The adventures of the past few years, says Dunn, “felt all but a distant memory.”
So he decided to post a photo that represents “the real me – someone who, like everyone else, has obstacles they need to overcome.”
Dunn says being able to post the photo now represents his own “little victory,” and that he’s found his passion for life again as he looks to the next adventure.”
“The Simon you see online is the Simon I want you to see, may it be my pride or the influence of social media, but it’s not always as it seems,” he wrote in closing. “Life is a series of ups and downs, just remember – there’s always light at the end of the tunnel no matter how dark it may seem!”
Here’s the full post via Instagram.
On Twitter, Dunn followed up tweeting, “My online persona is the image I want the world to see. Abs, photoshoots, parties, success, etc. I questioned posting this picture as it didn’t fit within my ‘story.’ Remember we all go through our own battles in life outside of what we show the world online. Myself included!”
My online persona is the image I want the world to see. Abs, photoshoots, parties, success etc. I questioned posting this picture as it didn’t fit within my “story”. Remember we all go through our own battles in life outside of what we show the world online. Myself included! pic.twitter.com/3R9utJsTxk
— Simon Dunn (@BySimonDunn) September 14, 2019
Dunn’s message is reminiscent of another social media celebrity, Arrow/Teen Wolf star Colton Haynes, who last month also penned an essay admitting Instagram lives are rarely the true measure of reality.
In his post on August 18, Haynes shared a photo from a past hospital stay telling his followers he no longer wanted to “project a curated life.”
As a fan of social media myself, I know I follow certain accounts for the eye-candy factor, or the imagery coupled with inspirational quotes.
But it is refreshing, every now and then, for these folks – who sometimes seem straight out of The Lives of the Rich and Famous – to let down their guard and relate to their hundreds of thousands of followers as regular human beings.
And by the way, while Dunn may have felt ‘less than’ his curated Instagram image in the photo he chose to share – sans razor-sharp abs and photoshoot lighting – I think he looks pretty hot.
Which just goes to show how living for that ‘Insta-image’ might skew exactly how we see that ‘man in the mirror.’