When InstaHunks Come Clean About Their ‘Insta-Lives’

Simon Dunn (via Instagram)

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.

View this post on Instagram

Twas the night before Christmas 📸: @snootyfoximages

A post shared by Simon Dunn (@bysimondunn) on

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.

View this post on Instagram

The online persona I show you is all photoshoots, parties and magazine covers. 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. Having to rebuild my life at the time felt like a monumental task. I honestly didn’t think I could do it. I stopped looking after myself, drinking most weekends away, stopped training, all things which compounded the low point I was in. It honestly felt all the years of hard work had only led me back to where I began. For the first time in my life I’d felt anxiety, which was something new, scary and very overwhelming at times. 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. 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. I was passionate about doing everything I could to show the world that out and proud athletes exist. I felt the world was my oyster and this was my chance to do exactly that. I felt like I’d failed and let so many people down. Life over the last several years has been a truely amazing adventure. This now felt all but a distant memory. Many tears were cried over many nights, and some days I didn’t want to even get out of bed. This image is me at the height of that time, i questioned if I should post it because it doesn’t portray the person I show the world. There’s no abs, I was unhappy and lost. It portrays the real me, someone who, like everyone else, has obstacles they need to overcome. My little victory is being able to post it now, only a few months later, passionate for life again and looking forward 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. 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!

A post shared by Simon Dunn (@bysimondunn) on

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!”

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.”

View this post on Instagram

Throwback. I don’t want worrying about if I look hot or not on Instagram to be my legacy. I don’t want to skirt around the truth to please other people or to gain economic success. I have far more important things to say than what magazine I just shot for or what tv show I’m a part of (Although I’m very thankful I still get to do what I love). I no longer want to project a curated life. I get immense joy when someone comes up to me & says that my willingness to open up about depression, anxiety, alcoholism, & addiction has helped them in some way. I’ve struggled the past year with trying to find my voice and where I fit in & that has been the most beautiful struggle I’ve ever had to go through. Worrying about what time to post on social media so I can maximize my likes or being mad at myself that I don’t look the same way I did when I was addicted to pills is a complete waste of why I was put on this earth. I’m posting these photos to let y’all in on my truth. I’m so grateful to be where I am now ( a year after these photos were taken) but man these times were dark. I’m a human being with flaws just like you. If ur in the middle of the dark times…I promise you it doesn’t have to last forever. Love y’all ❤️

A post shared by Colton Haynes (@coltonlhaynes) on

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.’

2 thoughts on “When InstaHunks Come Clean About Their ‘Insta-Lives’”

  1. The lifestyle was probably as shallow and fake as the relationship. When the invites dried up, the photoshoots stopped the bf who was in it for the lifestyle only and not the person.

  2. I gotta ask, where was this “partner” ? My partner did not work for almost two years. Oeople told me to dump him. I considered us married. I dont think str8 people divorce because one of them cannot find a job. Yeah it hurt “us” financially, and credit wise. I worked every minute of overtime i could but i kept a roof over our heads, and us and our dogs fed. I kept my family together. Nobody got sent home to mom.

Leave a Comment