Gul Panag: What kind of role model would I be if I post only good parts of my life?
“It’s not all joy and achievement... I have bad days... get overwhelmed... feel helpless and hopeless... I also go into a room and have a cry. Every achievement, big or small, is punctuated by days when you feel you are worthless, that you are going to fail...,” said Gul Panag in a recent Instagram post. The actor spoke about how she felt humbled about being an inspiration for many and their kind words.
What set the post in motion was her previous post, about chasing goals. She explains, “I’d spoken about my private pilot’s license and people responded that, ‘you can do everything’, ‘you are such an inspiration’, so on. A lot of times when you are down, you want people to know that it is possible to be goal-oriented yet have moments of self-doubt. It is not all highs as there are lows in life too. We have started propagating a culture where people curate their Instagram carefully as most influencers don’t post a picture which isn’t clicked by a professional. We are creating a bubble on social media, projecting an image which is not normal. What expectations are we setting for people? How are you influencing people to be a better version of themselves?”
She admits most days are good as she doesn’t have as many lows as others. Though Panag has spoken about highs and lows often, she feels a responsibility to tell people that it is okay to be a particular way. She elaborates, “People talk about how fit I am but I also share pics when I’ve gained weight. I shared my struggles with weight after I gained weight in January. I can’t just put out the best and most perfect version of myself. What kind of role model would I be if I put out only the good parts of my life? Staying fit takes a lot of effort to wake up early, eat sensibly and stay fit. It is sad that people who are supremely fit, don’t admit what a battle it is to be that way. It is not effortless!”
For Panag, it’s important to keep her social media handles authentic and not bother with what others are posting. “Even if it means low following than my peers, I won’t put up what others do. If I can’t be authentic then I don’t want to be social media.”