Bella Hadid’s sobriety started months before this year’s bout of "Dry January" Twitter, but seems to connote a similar mentality echoed across pockets of pop culture: an apprehension towards drinking.
Long gone are those early-pandemic days, where a drink (or, let's be honest, two) a day was not only commonplace but somewhat ritualistic. Studies show that alcohol purchases rose during the first lockdown — March through June 2020. (We needed something to pass the time, okay?)
But the recent wave of "sober curiosity" seems to be more in line with Hadid’s thinking. In an interview with InStyle, the supermodel shared how alcohol got in the way of her work, life, and most importantly, her mental health.
In early 2019, Hadid was dealing with anxiety, brain fog and the fallout effects of her bout with Lyme’s Disease. Six months into her sobriety, she shares that she no longer feels the need to drink, and the positive ways sobriety has impacted her since.
“I don't feel the need because I know how it will affect me at three in the morning when I wake up with horrible anxiety thinking about that one thing I said five years ago when I graduated high school,” she said. “There's just this never-ending effect of... pain and stress over those few drinks that didn't really do much, you know?"
Finding healthy alternatives for alcoholic beverages — including, of course, her own brand Kin Euphorics — has helped decrease her anxiety in social situations, undercutting the claims of “liquid courage” touted by alcohol brands across ages. And she’s not alone in her thinking, according to a survey, participation in “Dry January” has gone up to 19%, or, nearly 1 in 5 of all American adults, since 2021.
This move towards “sober curiosity” makes room for people who do drink to become more thoughtful in their relationship with alcohol, but will not take the place of true sobriety for those recovering from alcohol addiction.
The discourse around casual sobriety can serve as a means of connecting with people whose relationships with alcohol have been more fraught, and a new approach to the role alcohol plays in the spaces and cultures we cultivate, because, like Hadid (and everyone’s middle school health teachers) says: you don’t need to drink to have fun.
Photo via Getty/ Vittorio Zunino Celotto
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