Last summer, a woman from France joined Instagram and within a month, had a massive following of over 100,000 people swooning over her elite lifestyle. Her life was portrayed in gorgeous pictures that were perfectly posed. It looked like she was living the dream.
After a month of her beautiful posts and what seemed like endless vacations, a truth was revealed about the Insta-star that no one saw coming.
The woman in the photos was an actress, posing as a model from France who never had struggles, only had fun and was on vacation 24/7.
What her massive following didn't notice was that every single one of her pictures had something in common — she always had a drink hiding in the background, sitting by her side, in her hand or on her lips.
The reason behind the fake Instagram was an ad campaign for Addict Aide. The point of the campaign was to show how people overlook signs of addiction all the time, even when the red flags are right in front of us, or in this case, right on our Instagram feeds.
The name of the campaign was "Like my Addiction," and that's exactly what people did. As Louise Delage's following grew, she generated massive amounts of likes. People were literally "liking" her addiction, and no one noticed what was actually going on.
Although Delage isn't a real person, addiction is a real problem. She was portrayed as someone who was just living the dream, but according to Ad Week, "Sometimes it seems like in this era, the more people stage their ideal life on social media, the more that serves to hide a not-so-ideal reality."
Addiction, mental health problems and dissatisfaction are everywhere, but we're blind to it. People almost always put their best foot forward on social media when in reality, none of us are actually living the dream all the time.
It's important to be able to pinpoint signs of addiction and depression in your friends, family or even the people you know from social media. If someone posted something that directly said, "I have an alcohol problem and I need help," everyone would be concerned.
However, Delage showed how you can be subtly screaming for help, and no one knows or wants to listen because they're too invested in your incredible life.
There were some images where you could barely see the drink, but it was always there. This photo, for example, shows the tip of a bottle poking out of her bag.
Addiction, depression, anxiety and any other problems aren't prominent, but they can be seen. The problem is that no one's looking for the signs or noticing them because we're too busy obsessing over the "perfect" life they're portraying.
One person commented on the campaign saying, "If this is what alcoholism is please sign me up." If you look closely at the photos, she doesn't look all that happy, she doesn't have a whole lot of friends and she's always drinking.
If this were a real person, of course she wouldn't post the hangovers, the passing out or the long days where she was so sick she couldn't even leave the house.
Addiction is real, and it's everywhere. But it's getting easier and easier to hide when friends and family ignore signs for help and only focus on the perfectly filtered Instagram posts. Depression, eating disorders and various addictions are all problems that are subtly posted about, but our focus is ony concerned with the "outfit of the day" or someone's latest trip to Europe.
It's important to be aware of the subtle signs that someone's struggling, and act accordingly to help them.