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social media

By Laura Lynch

It’s no big secret that we have all become phone, screen and social media addicts. It seems we are rarely present in the moment these days, as we always feel the need to capture all the big (and small) events in our lives, on our phones. Whether it’s at a concert, at the gym, on holiday, or even just at the dinner table… why is it so hard for us to put our phones away for a few hours?

This addiction to our phones and the online world was certainly something I had become accustomed to over the past five or so years, and it puzzled me, why was I so hooked to my phone?

What good was this constant scrolling, checking for notifications and need to keep up with the Kardashians' daily lives actually bringing to my life?  

After discovering a video online, about a girl who quit social media for one month, I decided to challenge myself and try to do the same. I deleted all social media apps from my phone (Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook).

The first week was WEIRD. I was finding myself feeling quite bored at little gaps throughout the day, such as on my commute.

While everyone else was staring at their phones, I had nothing to look at. I wondered if I might be missing out on some big celebrity news that may have come out online. I kept going to click into apps on my phone, even though they weren’t there anymore.  

The second week was NICE. I was already noticing lots of positive changes at this point, in myself and in my life and I found it was easier to continue the detox from this point on.

The first month came and passed and I never even for a second considered going back online at that point. I had come so far, I was enjoying the freedom and my new outlook too much to go back.

Five months later, I was still offline and living a completely new, happier life. I felt different, it was like a weight had been lifted and I was so motivated to share my story. I was finally beginning to understand the importance of self-care and started seeing everything in a new light.

Here are the important things I noticed during my Social Media Detox:

  • During the first two weeks of my social-media-free life, I noticed just how often I glanced down at my phone, without even thinking, and it was staggering.

  • I was sleeping much better and for longer – the less grumpy and less stressed version of me began to appear.

  • My anxiety reduced by 90 percent – this was by far the most significant change I noticed and loved about this whole experiment.  

  • JOMO – the joy of missing out has actually become a thing. It was lovely just doing my own thing and not knowing, or worrying about what everyone else was up to. When I wanted to hang out with my friends, I just messaged or called them, and this worked perfectly. I didn’t have a fear of missing out on anything (FOMO), which is something I worried I would experience, before the detox.

  • I just stopped caring about the crazy things we do for social media, like taking photos of our food whenever we go out to eat and sending it to everyone.

  • I didn’t feel any pressure to get that perfect Instagram photo or Snapchat story everywhere I went. I went to an outdoor concert and felt there was no pressure on me now to look perfect and get lots of amazing photos to post online. I felt I enjoyed the whole experience much more than I would have in the past.

  • I read books on my commute instead of staring aimlessly at influencers or celebrities, who I once compared myself to not realising how toxic these comparisons were.

  • I felt like there were more hours in the day and there was. I was amazed by how much more free time I had when I took social media out of my life.

  • I genuinely felt happier, more confident and less stressed out.

After my detox, I did return to the online world, but in a totally different way. I felt it was really important to share my story with others and encourage people to try this Social Media Detox Challenge for themselves and see the impact it could have on their lives. I decided to start writing my thoughts and ideas down. This led to me starting up my own blog on Mental Health & Wellness, called ondayslikethis.com.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Laura Lynch – Wellness Blog (@ondayslikethisblog) on

I have returned to Instagram and Facebook but don’t have the apps on my phone anymore as I feel that constant scrolling throughout the day can be toxic for our mental health and body image. I have created a new Instagram page called ondayslikethisblog, where I share only motivating posts, news and information about my blog.

I have also only chosen to follow pages that uplift and inspire me and this most definitely makes a huge difference.

I never returned to Snapchat and still don’t miss it, which is crazy as this is the app I would have used the most before my detox.

With all the above said, I would encourage everyone to detox from social media for a few weeks. I promise you will definitely notice so many nice changes in your life.

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Little Mix star Jesy Nelson has revealed that she attempted suicide in 2013 after constant trolling about her appearance.

The X-Factor winner explained how the pressure and consistent negative comments caught up with her one night in 2013 and she took "as many tablets as I could" to escape it.

Her then-boyfriend realised what Jesy had tried to do and immediately called an ambulance, where Jesy was taken to hospital for treatment.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by @jesynelson on

Her new BBC documentary, Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out, she said; "I was sat in bed crying, thinking, 'This is never going to go, I'm going to feel sad for the rest of my life, so what is the point in being here?'

"The only way I can describe the pain is like constantly being heartbroken. I remember going to the kitchen and I just took as many tablets as I could. Then my ex, who was with me at the time, he woke up and was like, 'why are you crying?' I kept saying, 'I just want to die'."

Jesy deleted Twitter since the incident, which she found was a huge breeding ground for ruthlessly vile comments. The 28-year-old has faced criticism for everything you can possibly think of.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by @jesynelson on

Jesy told her family and close friends, as well as the rest of Little Mix, what had happened after her suicide attempt six years ago.

In the BBC documentary, which will be available on the iPlayer and will air on BBC One from 12 September, she recalled how the bullying began almost straight away after the X Factor experience;

"I had about 101 Facebook messages in my inbox, and the first one that came up was from some random man, saying: 'You are the ugliest thing I've seen in my life, you do not deserve to be in this girl band. You deserve to die'."

Jesy adds: "The whole world had an opinion on me and they weren't good ones. From the minute those comments started it became one of the worst times of my life."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by @jesynelson on

"I wasn't known as one of the singers from Little Mix. I was always known as 'the fat, ugly one'. It literally consumed every part of me."

The star found fame on X Factor in 2011 when she was paired with Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock to form a girl group.

Jesy is hoping that her new documentary will shed light on the impact of social media trolls and mental health.  If this story has affected you, please call Samaritans on their hotline: (01) 671 0071

Feature image: Instagram/@jesynelson

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Social media influencer and Love Island runner up Molly-Mae Hague has landed a huge £500,000 clothing deal with PrettyLittleThing.

The reality star came second on the show with boxer boyfriend Tommy Fury, and has been handed the biggest paycheck of this years' cast of Islanders yet.

The Irish Mirror report that the 20-year-old has signed a deal with the retailer to become their latest brand ambassador.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@mollymaehague) on

The star is currently in Los Angeles, taking part in photoshoots apparently for the brand. 

The influencer is said to have dined out with PrettyLittleThing boss Umar Kamani, and is following in the footsteps of some names like Kourtney Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Hailey Baldwin, by partnering with the brand.

A source told The Sun : "This is a huge deal not only for Molly-Mae, but PrettyLittleThing too. It’s one of their biggest collections to date."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@mollymaehague) on

"Molly-Mae had a huge following even before Love Island, so they were desperate to land her, whatever it cost."

Her boyfriend Tommy has clearly been pining for his girlfriend, showing his love for her to the world by commenting, "How can you be so perfect?" on her Instagram photos.

Fellow Islander Maura Higgins agreed, saying: "Exactly what @tommytntfury said". Molly-Mae looks set to rake in the most money in sponsorships so far, but Amber has already signed up for Dancing On Ice.

Feature image: Instagram/@mollymaehague

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Molly-Mae Hague won't be back in Ireland anytime soon, according to The Clare Echo. Remember when she took a private plane to an underage disco in Co. Longford? We do.

The Queens Nightclub in Ennis announced during the airing of Love Island that the social media influencer would appear for a meet-and-greet in August.

Tickets had been on sale for the event, but the nightclub have now confirmed that Molly-Mae has postponed her trip indefinitely to Co. Clare.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@mollymaehague) on

The Ennis venue wrote; “Due to unforeseen circumstances Love Island’s Molly-Mae Hague has had to postpone her appearance at Queens Nightclub Ennis this Saturday night.

"She would like to apologies to all her fans. Full refunds available on tickets already purchased from both eventbrite.com and Kaffeine," they added.

"Stay tuned to our social Media Accounts for further updates. Apologies for any inconvenience caused."

Image: Queens Nightclub Ennis/Facebook

Molly-Mae has been dating professional boxer Tommy Fury since mid-way through the ITV reality show, but is currently undergoing photoshoots in Los Angeles.

The star has yet to comment on the postponement of her nightclub appearance, after winners Greg O'Shea and Amber Gill spent the weekend in the county to see the Cliffs of Moher.

You're missing out on some Wild Atlantic Way beauty, gal. Your loss, we say.

Feature image: Instagram/@mollymaehague

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Pregnant reality star Marnie Simpson has opened up about her "major anxiety" surrounding cellulite,

The 27-year-old ex-Geordie Shore star has documented her "daunting" pregnancy journey with her 3.5 million social media followers, and got candid about the tough changes which her body has faced.

Admitting she felt "uncomfortable" about her stretch marks, the mum-to-be poses frequently in front of mirrors to show off her burgeoning baby bump.

Image: Instagram/@marns

Marnie said that the changes to her gorgeous physique have been "challenging" to experience.

In a long Instagram post, she wrote: "Can't believe I'm almost there, pregnancy has been a experience. Watching my body change has been challenging to say the least.

"Not going to lie, I've started to develop some stretch marks and water retention leaving me with a hell more cellulite than usual which is daunting, but I know it's going to be so worth it regardless when I see my baby boy."

The reality star was honest about her "major anxiety" over giving birth and facing motherhood for the first time, but she wants to keep "social media real" for her fans.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@marns) on

"No pregnancy is perfect, I've felt insecure, tired, hormonal, and overall c**p but social media only sees the ups, never the downs! Which is frustrating but I wanna keep it real for all the other mammas out there!

"I'm also suffering with major anxiety daily about the birth and the aftermath, especially with all my previous bladder trouble I'm just so scared of the unknown," she continued.

"I'm so grateful for all the messages I get daily it literally keeps me going and calms me down to know there is so many of us all feeling the same. We got this girlies."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@marns) on

Mum-to-be Marnie has been speaking out about all the aspects of pregnancy alongside her boyfriend, 24-year-old Casey Johnson.

The happy couple starred in the new Geordie Shore series: OG, which will follow Marnie as she swaps her party girl lifestyle for parenthood.

Marnie is expecting to give birth in September to a baby boy, and we're sure her followers will be kept in the loop.

Feature image: Instagram/@marns

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In case you've been under a rock for the last 14 hours, you've most likely been shaken to your core by Harry Styles' Rolling Stone cover.

Did we mention that he's shirtless, on the cover? Tattoos, nips and all? The headline reads; "Sex, psychedelics, and the secrets of stardom…" so it's bound to be glorious content.

The 25-year-old recently turned down the role of Prince Eric in the live-action portrayal of The Little Mermaid, but rumours are rife that his second album is about to drop in September.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Harry Styles (@harrygotmestyles) on

The upcoming cover is set to be released on September 3, and the race to the news stands will be officially on.

Of course, Harry Styles fans went WILD on Twitter, with one even offering to sell her lung for a cover. "Serious DMs only," @achangeofhes wrote.

We've combined the best reactions we've seen on the social media platform so far, and they're borderline hysterical. We're loving it. Long may the furore surrounding the singer/actor last, we say.

harry styles thank you GIF by The Late Late Show with James Corden

1. The Whatsapp group notifications were suddenly going off 24/7

2. Harry…isn't pure??

3.  Good luck, fellow warriors

4. We're pretty sure there will never be a day where Harry doesn't leave us speechless, but okay…

5. We never saw his chastity belt but just made an assumption?

6. Thank you for blessing our timelines with this glorious content:

7. DOES THIS MEAN HIS SOPHOMORE ALBUM IS COMING NEXT MONTH?

8. Oh, he's winning. The boy has saved September.

9. No other models exist.

10. Who gave him permission to do this to us?

11. How DARE he?

12. Wiping away those tears:

13. Can we survive extreme heat? Hell no. He's speeding up climate breakdown over here.

In conclusion: WE WEREN'T READY.

.excited harry styles GIF by iHeartRadio

Rolling Stone, you unfairly targeted us at our weakest moment with this angelic presence, and we don't know whether to thank you or hate you for having this effect on us.

Good day sir.

Feature image: Twitter/@sbblarents

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When it comes to influencers, some of the settings which are staged for that perfect shot look absolutely effortless. Too effortless, tbh… suspiciously effortless…

An absolutely gas video has been posted online by @TaylorLorenz which sheds light on the environmental factors which influencers endure.

Whether it's freezing cold weather, sunlight blazing in your eyes or just awkward angles, getting the perfect shot isn't as easy as it looks.

The video displays several influencers and bloggers jostling to take the perfect picture at an intersection in New York, 59th and 5th avenue;

They're working hard, to be fair; they've all gotta compete for the best image possible.

Apparently 59th and 5th is some kind of blogger hotspot, an aesthetically pleasing location which influencers have now plagued.

Some witty Twitter users have compared the video to a favourite dystopian show…

It is pretty reminiscent of THAT Bryce Dallas Howard episode, where everyone can rate each other and give points based on their image and personality, similar enough to Instagram.

 Whether you find the video disturbing, hilarious, mediocre or just plain creepy, it says a lot about how different today's social media world is.

We are hugely entertained by the reaction tweets though… keep 'em coming.

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We are all aware of the negative impact social media can have on our mood. Scrolling through Instagram for a mere ten minutes can knock our confidence and leave us feeling like our social lives are not up to scratch. We instantly compare ourselves to the people we follow, despite the fact that people only share their best moments on social media.

A new study has discovered the lasting impact social media can have on young people in Ireland and the findings are a cause for concern.

One in three young people revealed the pressure of social media makes life harder for them.

The study, which was conducted by Young Social Innovators and Amarach Research Index, found that despite its perks, social media is putting far too much pressure on young people.

Rachel Collier, Young Social Innovators chief executive said: “There has been a lot of discussion in the media in recent weeks about keeping young people occupied during the summer months and, in particular, how to get them away from screens.

“From this research, we can see how strongly embedded smartphones are in the day-to-day lives of Generation Z. For all of us involved in guiding young people from teens to adulthood, the issue of smartphone usage is something that we need to be aware of,” she added.

Social media does have many positives. It helps friends stay in contact even if they’re on opposite sides of the planet, it helps people share their content and gives people a place to express their views, but we need to remember that balance is key.

“We need to focus on getting the balance right between smartphone usage and real-life experiences, without trying to roll-back on something that is firmly part of contemporary youth culture,” said Rachel Collier.

93 percent of people involved in the study said life is harder for them than it was for their parents, mainly because of social media.

Social media makes young people compare every aspect of their lives to their peers’. They scrutinise everything from their appearance to their grades, and that pressure can be extremely damaging.

There are many wonderful things about social media. We certainly couldn’t go without it, but Rachel Collier is right, we need to find the right balance between life on Instagram and life in the real world.

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We thought we'd heard it all after the whole 'don't put ice lollies up your vagina' warning yesterday, but this takes the cake.

According to The Sun, a Spanish lake in Galicia is gaining notoriety for social media influencers thanks to it's gorgeous turqoise waters and stunning aesthetic.

There's only one, minor downside. The crystal clear water of Monte Neme is actually a toxic waste dump, created by the Tungsten mine which was utilised during World War II.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@crib_92) on

According to reports, the mine was abandoned in the 1980s and the 'lake' is a large hole full of dangerously contaminated water. Lush.

A Spanish publication named Publico claimed that one person started getting sick after taking a dip in the luscious green water, and broke out in a rash that lasted for two weeks.

What did he have to say about his experience? "The photo was worth it." Wow, no wonder the earth is slowly dying.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@rin.067) on

Another Instagrammer told them that she "didn't see the warning signs" and went swimming because "the water looked very pretty."

Unfortunately for her, she later suffered from a two-week long skin irritation and vomiting bug. Do it for the 'gram, they said. It'll be worth it, they said.

Doctors have since spoken out about the health concerns which the lake can create.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@paulaquelle) on

Manuel Ferreiro, a doctor at University Hospital of Coruña, told The Local:

"Brief exposure will most likely cause eye and skin irritation but a longer time in the water and digestion of the toxins could cause stomach problems, vomiting and diarrhoea."

Personally, we'd avoid these waters at all costs but you can bet certain influencers will still make the journey to the lake.

Feature image: Instagram/@luisstarsky

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HB Ice Cream are getting their science caps on and delivering the research we both need and deserve: Ireland's top new language terms.

The bizarre evolution of our generation's language is mainly clocked down to social media, with social-speak invading 70 percent of all real life (IRL) conversations for young people.

The HBae summer campaign has named the top terms for the country's summer, with 'YAAAAAAAASSSSSSSS', 'Vibes' and 'Can't Even' leading the pack. 

30 rock hello GIF

We truly are living our best lives this summer, with that term tagged in almost half of the most popular summer content this season.

'Bae' is another word we love to hate in Ireland, with 'fleek' coming in second as the most despised phrase.

HBae O'Clock is a series of flash ice cream giveaways celebrating Ireland's language evolution, and all we can say is: Treat Yo'Self. 

It turns out that keyboard chatter is massive in the Emerald Isle, with a whopping third of young Irish adults admitting to chatting through social channels over 20 times a day. Relax there, lads.

eyebrows GIF by Fergie

HB is encouraging the great Irish public to prep themselves for a flurry of 'kween', 'YAAAAASSSSSSS', 'holibobs', 'this one', 'vibes', 'stun' and '#deserved' tags taking over the social media grid.

Research shows that 10 percent of Dublin, Connacht and Ulster are set to scream ‘YAAAAASSSSSSS’ this summer, while 12 percent Munster are saying 'Not Able' (N'able)

11 percent of Leinster (all of South Dublin, bae-sically) say we're all about dem 'vibes'.

Obviously. 68 percent of speakers in the land are native in Ireland's newest social media slang lingo and 90 percent of that group admit that it helps them connect with friends.

vibes vibing GIF by Married At First Sight Australia

Our language doesn't stop online, social media speak is now invading 70 percent of all conversations in person. Awks.

Ireland is 'living it's best life' this summer, with the term tagged in almost half of the most popular content this season. 81 percent of young Irish people use the term 'holibops', 'sunny dzay' and 'festi-gals'.

60 percent of us are willing to post holiday pics and 19 percent will post ice-cream photos or selfies with '#deserved' becoming a top tag for ice cream posters.

parks and recreation eating GIF

The most annoying social media terms in Leinster with 38 percent of the vote are 'nom noms', 70 percent of people voted for 'bae' and 'not able' is also up there in the most annoying pile.

'Fleek' and 'holibops' are also getting under people's skin, but the terms show no sign of slowing down. Soz not soz. We're surprised 'shook' wasn't mentioned, personally.

naomi campbell empire GIF

HBae O'Clock is giving away flash ice cream giveaways to celebrate the research of our most prevalent social terms, giving us our fave tasty treats all summer long.

Simply tag  #HBaeoclock every Friday to be in with a chance to grab them ice cream cones before anyone else gets their paws on them.

Seeing as there's a damn HEATWAVE going on all over the world (*cough* climate breakdown *cough*) why not celebrate the world coming to an end with some liquid sugar?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@hb_ireland) on

Social media addict and presenter James Kavanagh says;

 “Sunnier days are in sight baes and we’re looking to reward all of you stunning kweens with the tastiest treats for helping develop the language of our generation, STUN!

"Get your hands on a refreshing Twister, classic Cornetto, a gorge Iceberger or my fave – a cheeky Brunch and go wild on the social speak and HB pics tagging #HBaeoclock every Friday to be in with the chance to win.”

To find out more about HB this summer, search @HBIreland on Twitter and Instagram.

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Social media app Instagram will hide the total number of 'likes' which posts in Ireland receive in a trial to analyse whether users prefer a less competitive social media environment.

Users themselves will be able to see how many 'likes' their own posts get, but not those of other Instagram users' posts.

A spokesman for the app said; “We are testing this because we want followers to focus on the photos and videos shared, not how many likes they get."

They added; “We don’t want Instagram to feel like a competition. We hope to learn whether this change can help people focus less on likes and more on telling their story.”

The company began testing this new feature in Canada in May, emphasising that the focus should be on the photos and videos themselves rather then the numerical results.

The trial is now being extended to Irish users, with the move likely being welcomes by parents and childrens' welfare organisations due to the negative effects on self-esteem associated with Instagram.

Instagram undoubtedly encourages people to portray an idealised version of their lives among their peers, seeking popularity of friends and acquaintances.

A new Canadian study of 3,826 teenagers discovered that social media may be associated with adolescent depression, as young people compare themselves with filtered, unrealistic images of others.

Instagram users will still be shown the number of comments that other users' posts attracts, which could be used as a proxy for popularity.

Instagram has been seen as the least controversial major social media platform, seeing as Facebook's meddling with elections and 'fake news' has gotten them in trouble, as well as YouTube and Twitter's issues with hate speech.

Tara Hopkins, head of public policy, EMEA at Instagram said; “We want Instagram to be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves."

She added; “This includes helping people to focus on the photos and videos they share, not how many likes they get.

"We are now rolling the test out to more countries so we learn more from our global community and see how this can benefit people's experiences on Instagram.”

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Jameela Jamil has opened up about having an abortion when she was younger.

The Good Life actor took to social media to reveal that she underwent the procedure after falling pregnant at a young age. 

The 33-year-old said that the decision was the best one she ever made as she wasn't ready for it emotionally, psychologically or financially. 

Jameela Jamil

She wrote, ''I had an abortion when I was young, and it was the best decision I have ever made for me and, for the baby I didn’t want and wasn’t ready for emotionally, psychologically and financially. So many children will end up in foster homes.''

She continued, ''So many lives ruined. So very cruel.''

Jameela was speaking out against the new anti-abortion law, HB 481, in Georgia, America that will be coming into effect in 2020.

The law will ban abortion at ''any stage of pregnancy.''

Jameela called the law, ''upsetting, inhumane, and blatantly demonstrative of a hatred of women.''

She added, ''It is a disregard for our rights, bodies, mental health, and essentially a punishment for rape victims, forcing to carry the baby of their rapist. I’m so stunned that our world is not only behind, it’s moving backward. This hurts my heart in so many different ways, and in particular as a rape victim. I can’t imagine having fallen pregnant and being FORCED BY LAW to carry his baby to term, and see someone who looked like him every day, otherwise, I can get the death penalty?!''

Jameela Jamil

Her followers showered her with supportive comments, with one saying, ''I’ve been loudly screaming this since becoming pregnant myself – forcing a woman to carry a baby she does not want should be considered torture. I live in Canada. Abortion here is a non-issue. I’m angered for Georgia and the US.''

Others were not of the same mind, with one writing, ''Just say it was the best for you, I understand. Don't say that being aborted was the best for that baby. Your baby. It wasn't.''

This is the first time that the former model has spoken about her abortion but she pleaded with her followers to help in fighting the ban and she hopes that by talking about what she went through, it will help other women to feel less alone. 

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