Sophie Turner Discusses Toxic Pressures of Social Media
Sophie Turner Discusses Her Body-Image Insecurities: "Social Media Makes Me Anxious"
No matter how confident celebrities might seem on the outside, it's important to remember that, beyond the glitz and glamour, they are real people who are likely struggling with the same things as us. And while someone like Sophie Turner might ostensibly have it all together — a happy marriage, a growing family, a successful acting career — the pressure to be perfect can still fester. Turner recently expanded on these feelings in an interview with Elle UK about her body-image insecurities, social media stress, and feelings of anxiety.
"I have noticed that social media makes me incredibly anxious, and it's something I try to distance myself from," she said in the interview. "I wish I'd never got myself involved with it in the first place. I look at the comments on Instagram and think, 'Oh, f*ck. Everyone thinks this about me.' It would completely consume me."
The actor, best known for her role in "Game of Thrones," explained how social media has had a negative impact on her body image. "One night, I was playing over and over in my mind a comment I'd seen on Instagram. I was like, 'I'm so fat, I'm so undesirable' and spinning out." But Turner said she received a piece of life-changing advice from her live-in therapist, a "companion" the actor hired to help her manage her eating disorder: "'You know, no one actually cares. I know you think this, but nobody else is thinking it. You're not that important.'"
"That was the best thing anyone could have told me," Turner said.
This isn't the first time the 26-year-old actor has spoken about her eating disorder. In an interview with The Times, she said that she was "too aware" of her body at a young age. "It just kind of took over my mind; it was all I would think about. Calorie counting, everything. 'Oh, I'll just eat nuts today.' I stopped having my period for a year."
She credits therapy with saving her and helping her through her struggles.
"I still have to do [therapy] every week. Occasionally, I go on a retreat to check myself, and I still have days when I feel depressed or anxious. It's manageable now — I have the tools. I know what's good for me and what's not good for me. I know what I have to do to get myself in a good headspace. It's not debilitating — I know how to get myself out of it," she told Elle UK.
In addition to therapy, she attributes much of her happiness to a lot of time spent with family and friends in the UK. "I really love living in America, but for my mental health, I have to be around my friends and my family," she said. While she and her family currently live in Miami, she wants them to eventually reside permanently in England. "[Joe Jonas] might take quite a bit of convincing!" she said.
As for what's next? You can watch Turner in "The Staircase," a true-crime drama dropping on HBO Max tomorrow. But if you want to follow her on social media or check her out on Instagram, you likely won't see much. Turner told Elle UK that she recently decided to delete the Instagram app from her phone.
"Having it off my phone has been so helpful. Now, if I do have to go on it, it's for a few minutes once or twice a week, rather than hours every day. It's made such a difference. Live real life — it's much more fun."
If you or someone you know is struggling with disordered eating or an eating disorder, the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) has resources available, including a 24/7 helpline at (800) 931-2237.