The quickest way to ease the stigma around women’s health? Sharing what we’re going through with friends, family, and – in Hailey Bieber’s case – fans and followers. The model-turned-Rhode-Beauty-founder got real on Instagram Stories this week, sharing a photo of her bared belly with an explanatory caption.
“I have a cyst on my ovary the size of an apple,” wrote Bieber, quieting any potential misunderstandings with the words “not a baby” near her exposed stomach. “I don’t have endometriosis or PCOS but I have gotten an ovarian cyst a few times and it’s never fun. It’s painful and achey and makes me feel nauseous and bloated and crampy and emotional.”
Bieber went on to note that she’s sure a lot of her followers can relate – and she’s right. While PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) affects around 5 million women of reproductive age, and approximately 11 per cent of women in the US live with endometriosis, benign ovarian cysts like Bieber’s occur in anywhere between eight to 18 per cent of women in the U.S. That there are no definitive statistics indicates a need for more conversations like this one.
The post comes months after the model’s mini stroke, another health condition she opted to discuss candidly with her 49 million followers. In today’s culture of constant communication, taking the opportunity to get real is always welcome. So here’s hoping that even one woman’s straightforward approach will inspire others to open up, too.
This article first appeared in British Vogue.