Model Adwoa Aboah Talks Attempted Suicide, Overcoming Addiction, And How Social Media Is “Detrimental To Everyone”
Whenever any of us is going through something, we tend to feel like we’re the only ones. That’s especially true when it comes to matters of mental health and addiction, issues many prefer to keep quiet because of the stigma that accompanies them. But whenever one woman comes forward to say “me too” in any capacity, it creates a space for another to share her story and feel less alone. And model Adwoa Aboah is doing just that by sharing her own journey to recovery and building a place where young girls can do the same.
Aboah is the cover model for Allure magazine’s April edition, “The Skin Issue.” But in her feature, she tackles topics far deeper than her beautiful freckles. Though she admits,“I didn’t think I could be [a model].” Despite being scouted at an early age and signing with an agency at 17, Aboah’s career didn’t immediately take off. “I don’t think I was confident enough,” she explained. “And I don’t think there was a space within the industry for somebody who looked like me.”
That would change within a few years’ time, but Aboah would have to make some changes of her own to succeed in the industry. As a teen, she experimented heavily with drugs. And in 2015, at the age of 23, she attempted suicide — the same year she appeared on the cover of Italian Vogue. For Aboah, the cover marked a turning point in her career. It also sparked the beginning of her recovery from drug addition and that led her to create Gurls Talk, a community for teens to talk about everything from anxiety to antidepressents, sex, self-acceptance, and, of course, social media.
“If I had somewhere I felt safe enough to talk about the things going on in my life, whether they be small or big, I don’t think I would have bottled up everything so much and had it fall to pieces during 2014,” Aboah shared.
While Gurls Talk creates positive spaces on Instagram and Facebook, Aboah, like the very girls she’s helping, admitted she can fall prey to comparing herself to others on social media. “The jealousy it can make me have sometimes…” the 25-year-old said. “It’s mental. It’s detrimental to everyone. Who is more successful, or rich, or beautiful — you’ll always be able to pick it out. Why didn’t I go to that party? You didn’t want to go in the first place. I try not to spend a lot of time on it.”