Sadie Newman Uses Instagram For Good, Not Evil
“Instagram is beautiful, but also evil,” says Sadie Newman.
25-year-old Newman, who has modeled for Victoria’s Secret, knows that social media can be a major cause of anxiety. Unfortunately, unlike the average 20-something, she has to use it for work.
So, she decided to start a page called Inner Piece, a page where her co-workers and friends can share the things that people don’t normally broadcast publicly on Instagram: their failures, their fears, and their unfiltered stories.
We sat down with Sadie to talk about how she works to stay feeling good, and looking good—on and off Instagram.
So your Instagram captions seem to poke fun at the actual work that goes into being a model (showing your agent you were at event, feeling the need to produce content, etc.)—why is it important to you to show the “reality” of being a model?
I have a hard time portraying on Instagram what I’m actually like in real life with my photos, so I always keep the captions true to my sense of humor. Like, “I know here’s another photo of me in my underwear, but it’s my job so don’t judge me.” I think the reality is models don’t like Instagram, but it’s our job to post and we feel pressured to. I want to show people that we’re as insecure about it as everyone else.
One of the “realities” of being a model is that it takes a lot of behind-the-scenes prep to look so good (especially without makeup). Can you tell us some of your favorite products or practices for always looking (and feeling) your best?
I wash my face with Cetaphil morning and night and my skin has never been better—just had to keep it simple. I use Mario Badescu facial spray throughout the day because my skin needs to constantly be refreshed. I go to yoga every day, which helps me feel good mentally—which always makes you look better on the outside. I also take valerian root every morning for my anxiety and Perfectil for my hair. Both have really been making a difference in my daily life. My anxiety feels not as frantic and Perfectil has really saved my hair from splitting and being dead after shoots, it’s much healthier. I like to keep it pretty straight forward and simple with vitamins.
You also got candid about your anxiety on the Girl Cult podcast—do you feel like your career choice has brought you more anxiety? Or maybe helped you deal with anxiety better? Maybe a bit of both?
I’ve always been anxious, but my job has definitely increased it. Everything is always so last minute and could change in an instant, but I’m trying to learn from the anxiety it causes me and spin it into a more positive lesson. Focusing on being present and not trying to predict the future.
You mentioned that you used to write Tyra Banks fan mail. Have you always wanted to be a model since you were a little girl?
Oh, how I loved Tyra growing up. I didn’t always wants to be a model, and definitely did not think I was good enough [to be one], but kids in school were so mean to me that I thought there had to be something I can do to get out of this small town—something my height is good for! I saw a possibility and took a chance.
With the rise of social media, lots of girls sort of try to be “models” in their own way. Do you feel like that’s a good thing or a bad thing?
I think it’s good and bad. Girls can express themselves however they want and have the opportunity to share it with people. But on the flip side, young girls try to live up to unrealistic expectations. Every photo on Instagram is edited and I think the pressure to post and be seen by people is toxic and it creates an unhealthy relationship with yourself.
Inner Piece is an amazing project you started late last year, can you talk to us about the motivation behind starting that page?
I love people. I love talking to people, hearing their problems and what makes them tick. I thought it would be an opportunity to share their fears and worries with the world, to show people we’re all in this together. We all fear the same things and Instagram isn’t usually the place that is all heard.
It’s sort of funny because a lot of the advice seems to talk about how social media can be challenging, but the platform itself is via social media. Can you talk about the decision to have the page live on Instagram vs. another platform?
Instagram is beautiful, but also evil. The reach you can have on Instagram vs. another platform is incomparable, so I knew it would be the quickest and easiest way to reach people. I think it’s about creating a healthy relationship with social media again. Don’t use it to compare, but use it to feel inspired.
OMG, that DM you got from the girl asking to borrow your dress for her date party is so bizarre and hilarious. Do you have any other ridiculous DM stories like this?
That girl was out of control. She got so mad at me for posting it online, but I hid her name/face! I mean, I have people asking for locks of my hair or for a sock of mine. Not two socks, one. I don’t read them all because they scare me!
Lastly, can you give some quick tips to our readers for how to combat some of the anxiety that being plugged in can give them?
I don’t mindlessly scroll on instagram (or [I at least] make a conscious effort not to). There was a time when we didn’t know/care what other people were doing, so don’t fill your brain with comparison. I go for walks a lot when I feel overwhelmed or just remove myself from the funk I have created around myself. Also being present. Realizing that most of the things you’re anxious about are out of your control. Things will happen whether you are anxious about them or not, so you have to train yourself to let go a little.