At this point, most people have heard of a post-breakup makeover — otherwise known as a “breakover” — which consists of a person changing up their look after getting out of a serious relationship. Katy Perry, Jenna Dewan, and Christina El Moussa have all dramatically changed their hairstyles post-split. But now, YouTube personality Gabbie Hanna is taking part in the “new look, new me” movement — with a twist.
In a Instagram posted on Friday, Hanna showed off a new short haircut and a fresh set of abs, while telling her nearly four million followers that she “went through a break up recently.” And although she wasn’t in a relationship with another person to begin with, she stressed the idea of breaking up with her old self.
“I was stuck in an on-and-off, abusive, toxic relationship with myself for the past 20 years or so,” Hanna wrote. “This year has been hard especially, but I finally had the strength to break up with my demons. We’re much better off as friends, anyway.”
She also mentioned that she’s become more positive and hopeful throughout the process of learning to love herself. The changes on the outside, she tells us, are just a part of the more important transformation on the inside.
“I don’t think that beauty is happiness, and I don’t think happiness has to do with how much you weigh or what your hair looks like,” Hanna shares. “I DO believe that if you’re unhappy, you need to make changes, and sometimes those inner changes can be inspired by simply feeling different.”
According to her massively popular YouTube channel, Hanna has been actively transforming herself, as well as the character she portrays on her massively popular YouTube channel, for nearly a year. She started by challenged herself to what she thought would be a 4-week workout regimen. As her work with celebrity trainer Steve Zim began, however, she realized that it would be a much longer, and more intensive process.
“This isn’t one of those Buzzfeed videos where you lose 20 percent body fat in four weeks or you train like a Victoria Secret model for a month,” Hanna’s video began. “This is a real, actual physical and mental transformation the way it actually happens.”
Through tears and times of wanting to give up, Hanna’s journey doesn’t come to a complete end, but instead to a new beginning where she’s visibly more motivated and happier than she was at the very start. The 27-year-old’s subsequent haircut, which she also shared on camera, was another way that she says she jolted herself into a “new chapter of my life.”
Child and adolescent psychologist Barbara Greenberg assures that Hanna’s thinking isn’t skewed. Instead, Greenberg insists that Hanna’s content serves as a reminder for people to thrive in this life, instead of just surviving.
“She is absolutely sending a terrific message. Because the focus is on self-improvement and self-reflection,” Greenberg says of Hanna’s journey, that has a larger emphasis on feeling good than it does on looking her best. “When you’re working on life changes, it’s not uncommon for that to coincide with a new look, a new style. It all goes together, how people feel inside and how they present themselves on the outside.”
Just like Greenberg, Hanna says that the best part of her transformation was the focus she exclusively put on herself throughout the process.
“For the first time in my life, I was taking a couple hours out of my day, each day, to simply focus on myself,” Hanna says. “When I’m working out, I’m not worrying about anything except bettering ME, doing something for ME, taking care of ME. My biggest transformation was reconnecting with myself, and loving my body for how much better it was getting every day with me.”