Remi Bader photographed on a white background looking straight to camera.
Tatiana Katkova


Remi Bader On Breakups, Living Online, And Putting Her Mental Health First

On the last day of Mental Health Awareness Month, the content creator reflects on her journey.

by Remi Bader

For those of you who may not know me, I am Remi Bader, a content creator who built her following based on being vulnerable and honest, whether that be through my realistic clothing hauls, crying at Coachella, or sharing some of my most personal and difficult moments. Every day I wake up and realize that I am fortunate to do what I do, and wouldn’t change it for the world. Yet, when you go online and choose not to set your own boundaries, whatever those may be, people get very used to feeling that they are obligated to know every detail about you. Offering up my entire life became the expectation. Viewers felt entitled, and I felt indebted.

When I started, I shared a lot on the topics of health and body image. This became a “hot topic” and eventually, unavoidable. I was glad I had formed a community where we could openly help each other; but over time, I realized that it was starting to affect my mental health. Today, I am no longer in a place where I want my body and the status of my physical health to be the main topic. That doesn’t mean I won’t decide to share about my body in the future, but for right now, it feels best for me to put myself and my mental health first.

In September of last year, I reached a breaking point. People say that when you put yourself in the public eye, the negative just “comes with the territory,” and to an extent, they are correct — but that doesn’t mean that we can’t set boundaries. Seeing negative comments and messages each and every day about how much weight I was gaining (or losing) made me feel awful about myself and was contributing to a disorder I was trying so hard to keep under control. It was then that I realized I needed some separation between what goes online, and what stays off.

“Offering up my entire life became the expectation. Viewers felt entitled, and I felt indebted.”

This was not an easy decision for me, nor one I took lightly; I do feel it’s important to share the real things you’re going through on social media. The guilt quickly set in: Was I no longer fulfilling an unwritten duty by not posting about certain topics?? Was I abandoning people? Was I not deserving of all the blessings that came my way in having this job, if I abandoned these topics? Still, I closed myself off and avoided certain topics to protect myself. And then — without any warning — I got dumped.

I don’t need to go into the details of the breakup, because, let's be honest, enough of it is already online. But I do want to share what that event did for me, and how it helped me relearn how I can continue each day to move in a forward and more healthy direction.

Post-breakup, I poured myself back into my platform, particularly Tiktok. I was more broken than I had been before, and by taking a step back, I let myself deal with it the way I had dealt with all my other emotions over the last three and a half years as a creator: leaning on my online community. Sharing every single detail. Asking for help. And in return, being extremely open and vulnerable, just how I started... As someone who had never gone through a breakup before, I didn’t realize how much my followers would end up helping me. They taught me that it’s OK to have feelings and emotions that come in and out like waves. We can feel like our life is coming back together for one week and then on a random day in the grocery store, we can start feeling like it’s falling apart again. It’s heartbreak, and there is nothing simple or logical about it.

Through this difficult time, my relationship with the platform was reborn in a way. I received not hundreds, but thousands (and thousands) of DMs thanking me for the transparency. “Remi, I am going through a breakup also and I just wanted to let you know that you sharing the way you are feeling can be extremely healing for us going through the same thing. It makes me feel less alone,” one read. These messages hit me in an extremely powerful way. Sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly, once again, had helped people, and in turn, helped me.

“It’s heartbreak, and there is nothing simple or logical about it.”

With this, and the journey and lessons I learned this year, I am still planning to be my most authentic self online, but I am putting more effort into putting my mental health first. To be clear — no matter what my body looks like, it will never change what I’ve set out to do from the start: to advocate for body inclusivity in the fashion and apparel industries. But for the sake of my own mental health, that’s where I am drawing the line on that topic. Just because I was fully open about it when this online journey started, it is no longer my entire story. My body shape and size does not determine who I am as a person. I will focus on being the best advocate for mental health I can be for others, whether that’s sharing small quotes that help put me in a better headspace, working on finding ways to provide more safety and protection online for anyone who chooses to share their experience with mental health publicly, or simply by sticking to what I said in September and not sharing what I don’t want to share about my body and health journey. By sticking to this, I hope to lead by example in respecting my own boundaries and ultimately, I hope for the same thing I have from the start: to make a change. Even if it’s by helping one person at a time.

This essay was written to coincide with and raise awareness for the last day of Mental Health Awareness Month.