Fearne Cotton’s Instagram feed is a treasure trove of covetable images - from a wistful peek of her Bowie-inspired tattoo to a behind-the-scenes clip of her hurtling around London Fashion Week while filming ‘Fearne On Fashion’.
But, in a live interview with AOL Build series London on Monday 9 January she revealed all is not as “perfect” as it appears.
“I’m guilty of it,” Cotton admits. “I’ll look at some people on Instagram and go: ‘God look, they’ve got it really sorted and I seem to be struggling today’.
“And of course it’s a load of rubbish. It’s a complete fantasy. They could be going through any number of things that aren’t shown in that particular post.”
“The word ‘perfect’ is such a strange one and such a fantasy, because the way we all view each other’s lives is so two dimensional these days,” said Cotton.
“With social media we think we know what we’re viewing, and it’s such a tiny portion of anyone’s life, thoughts, feelings and experiences. But we base whole blanket coverage opinions on people’s lives on that.
“It’s really tricky because, like everyone out there, we’re all going through ups, downs, sorrow, loss, bereavement, trauma, shock, happiness, joy, elation.
“Each and every one of us is in our own experience.
“My job certainly is fun and that is a real bonus in my life, but it does not make me immune to any of those things like anyone else. So I’m going through all the same stuff as everyone else in a different way.”
Cotton said depression runs in the female line of her family and she herself was diagnosed with the condition a few years back.
“I felt like it was time to be open about it and discuss it,” she said speaking about her soon to be published book ‘Happy’.
“It’s still terrifying to mention the word now, but if anyone gets any comfort or solace from reading the book then I’m very glad to have written it.”
While cautioning that it is important to keep a sense of perspective when viewing images of “perfection” on social media, Cotton also believes that creating these images for ourselves, can have a positive impact on our wellbeing.
For instance, fashion is something Cotton has found great joy in, especially when she harnesses its power to create a confident self-image at times when she wants to give the impression she is more in control than she feels.
“It’s not going to make you into a different person, but it can give you a boost if you’re feeling a bit down, or it can make you more empowered and that’s really liberating,” she explained.
“Isn’t that the great thing about being a woman? Chaps, I’m sorry but I feel quite sad for you sometimes, because you have less of the opportunity to do that - it’s just what jeans and t-shirt, whereas us girls we can literally wear whatever we like and anything goes.
“Theres’ less opportunity for men to go completely out there and boundary-push. There are still opportunities, but for women we can dress in a really androgynous way if we like, we can be really girly, we can be really flamboyant.
“For guys there’s more of a sex silhouette and it’s harder to deviate from that, so I think we’re lucky we have more opportunity to have fun with it.”
Which brings us on to Cotton’s greatest style crush:
“Tilda Swinton - she’s got the most phenomenal collection of trouser suits and amazing tailored clothing. I’d love to raid her wardrobe and stride around feeling confident and powerful like her.
“Fashion should be fun. It shouldn’t be taken too seriously, or have to have certain rules applied. It should just be whatever makes you feel good, confident and comfortable.”