Gigi Robinson Talks Psychological Well being, Physique Picture, and Sobriety

Gigi Robinson is busy. The 24-year-old influencer, photographer, podcast host, and entrepreneur not too long ago added “swimsuit mannequin” to her stacked checklist of credentials when she turned the primary Sports activities Illustrated mannequin to overtly talk about her power sickness.

Robinson passionately makes use of her platform for advocacy — and power sickness is way from the one necessary topic she broaches. She not too long ago launched her podcast, “Everything You Need Is Within,” to speak about physique picture, psychological well being, and content material creation with specialists like Diversability founder Tiffany Yu, Sofi the Oddity, and Playboy social media editor Helen Sibilia. And if that wasn’t sufficient, she’s additionally engaged on an thrilling new mission that “focuses particularly on self-advocacy for college students, sufferers, and anybody who struggles with their physique picture,” she says.

Robinson, who was identified with connective-tissue dysfunction Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) at age 11, has greater than 130,000 followers on TikTok alone. She sums up her psychological well being technique with one phrase: “I reside by the saying ‘what another person thinks of you is, frankly, none of your online business.'” However Robinson has much more to say about standing up for herself, discovering a help system, and coming into her position as an educator — and what it took for Robinson to turn out to be outspoken in her advocacy. You are an advocate for psychological well being consciousness. What makes you so keen about each that and physique picture?

Gigi Robinson: Dwelling with EDS has challenged me in a number of methods, as a result of I really feel like my physique has betrayed me and it makes every little thing troublesome, particularly when I’ve flare-up days. Fortunately, I reside in New York Metropolis, and through faculty, I lived in Los Angeles with entry to knowledgeable specialists for power ache and EDS. I actually wanted a help system. For me, that turned my medical care staff as I struggled with my emotional and psychological well being. I used to be concurrently taking drugs and growing a number of insecurity with my physique. This brought on me to have challenges with binge consuming and finally led me to speak about it with my docs and therapists. I do not understand how I acquired to a degree the place I wanted assist, however I do know working with a medical care staff that understood my wants and centered on my particular situation actually helped push me to set extra medical boundaries. If it helped me, somebody with over a decade of medical challenges, I may solely hope that it will assist others as properly. That is why I advocate for it.

In a post-COVID world, the place it is clear that lodging akin to distant studying, hybrid class, and prolonged deadlines exist and really a lot helped the general educational expertise for chronically unwell and disabled college students, the worst half is that as we come out of the pandemic, we’re resorting again to prepandemic habits and methodologies for studying, which disregard college students with these lodging. And though there are places of work of accessibility and incapacity providers at universities, it is clear we have to give college students the ability to advocate for themselves, to have the ability to ask lecturers for what they should do their job as a pupil greatest.

And a part of sharing my story is in order that others do not make extra errors, and so they can study from the hardships that I’ve skilled with my power well being points.

PS: You’ve got spoken publicly about your individual resolution to not drink alcohol. What guided that call?

GR: I truly by no means had an issue with alcohol, however I really feel like when individuals say that they are sober or do not drink, everybody assumes they’d an issue. For me, it is all about my well being. There is no different means round it: I am actually allergic to alcohol. It could set off terrible reactions with my mast cell activation syndrome [which causes repeated episodes of severe allergy symptoms] the place my face would puff up and my eyes have been nearly absolutely swollen shut. I additionally would get horrible joint ache anytime that I drank. So I finished. Coincidentally, a number of months later, I began on a brand new ache treatment that is helped me tremendously and adjusted my life; this sort of drugs is taken into account a managed substance, and you are not allowed to drink alcohol on it, so it simply appeared to work out in my favor anyway. I actually love not ingesting as a result of it simply helps me reside a greater life with much less power ache.

Oftentimes, I maintain a membership soda with lime, which seems to be like a tequila soda, or a ginger ale in a whiskey glass with an ice dice that mimics a whiskey, or I order a mocktail! No person has to know, and it is none of their enterprise, fairly frankly. If any person asks me why I do not drink, I ask them a query that reframes and deflects the query again to them: “Why do you care what I am ingesting? What are you ingesting?” And in the event that they’ve had a drink or two, they’re going to usually all the time leap to inform you about what they’re ingesting. In the event that they hold pushing to know what I’m ingesting, I usually know they are not the sort of individual I need to be round — I am not a fan of peer stress!

PS: There’s a lot emphasis on constructing a help system, however how can individuals — particularly throughout COVID, hybrid work schedules, and distant college — truly do this?

GR: I stick with the fundamentals: Instagram, TikTok, and even Snapchat. Prepandemic, I particularly sought out a local people of individuals residing with my circumstances. This additionally led to a sequence of IRL meetups, which was actually empowering. It was nice to satisfy with individuals and in addition incorporate them into a few of my initiatives. Now that we’re in a post-COVID world, digital connection is certainly one thing that is not going away, and there are much more methods to attach with new individuals. I nonetheless defer to Fb teams and chat with individuals via DMs. I’ve met among the coolest individuals via these help teams, together with my associates @izzy.kornblau, @butyoudontlooksickofficial, and @ashley_carnduff.

PS: What do you want everybody knew about Gen Z’s psychological well being?

GR: It is crucial to incorporate us within the conversations, as a result of though we’re not as previous as you, we’re not youngsters anymore. We are the era that grew up in digital-first environments which have formed who we’re and the way we act. Because the world round us modifications, we have tailored to it, and as we have finished that, we have acquired a number of pushback from these not desirous to adapt. On the subject of psychological well being, schooling lodging, social media literacy, the way forward for the office, and extra, allow us to have a seat on the desk.

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