“As most of you know, I grew my following during my ‘Playboy’ years. Certain photos grow followings fast. In short, sex sells,” Crystal, 35, who was married to Hugh Hefner from 2012 until his death in 2017, wrote in a lengthy Instagram statement on Monday, January 10.
The Girls Next Door alum revealed that she had struggled on the road to becoming her “real” self.
“I don’t know whether I felt empowered by dressing scantily clad, showing cleavage, etc … or if I just felt it was expected of me or what,” she noted. “But now I can confidently and 100% proudly say, modesty is what empowers me these days, and because it feels so much better internally, it will probably be this way for the rest of my life.”
The model recalled “suffering internally” while trying to live for other people before she made the decision to remove “everything fake” from her body, adding, “I am more authentic, vulnerable and feel that I belong more to myself. I am mine.”
At the time, Crystal was worried that her decision would cause people to unfollow her after she noticed her follower count dropping.
“I was watching the girls that had similar pages keep posting the same scantily clad stuff and growing exponentially while I tanked hard,” the television personality shared about the shift, noting that it didn’t stay that way for long. “Most days the count is growing. Now my women followers are giving the men followers a run for their money. Now I truly feel I have an army of supporters that care and see an actual soul behind the lens.”
The California native also explained that her new point of view inspired her mission to “try and help in all ways” while still “staying true to myself,” saying, “I hope all of you can stay true to yourself and to what feels right for you as well, because there’s a certain power you get from that you can’t find anywhere else. I love you.”
Crystal’s candid conversation comes after she previously revealed that she almost died from plastic surgery.
“I lost half the blood in my body and ended up in the hospital needing a blood transfusion,” she wrote via Instagram in January 2021 about a fat transfer procedure two years prior. “I’ve been slowly eating my way back to health since then and I am now finally feeling OK.”
The health scare and her decision to remove her breast implants in 2016 caused Crystal to want to spread awareness about the risks of plastic surgery. “I should have learned my lesson the first time but I guess the universe keeps sending you the same lesson until you learn it,” she noted at the time.