Louise Delage joined Instagram on Aug. 1 and quickly racked up nearly 65,000 followers with her pictures of a seemingly glamorous life in France. The photos, which have since garnered more than 50,000 likes altogether, show the 25-year-old strutting the streets of Paris, setting sail on a boat, lying on the beach, and hanging out with well-dressed men. But in her latest post, from Sept. 22, the rising star revealed a surprising truth: that the account belongs to a person who doesn’t exist— and was created to raise awareness about the dangers of alcoholism.
In every one of her 150 posts, the fake social media phenom— who is actually a model posing as Delage— is holding a glass of alcohol, The Guardian reported.
Addict Aide, a French organization focused on raising awareness of alcoholism among young people, jump-started the campaign. The agency created the account because it had been struck by “the difficulty of detecting the addiction of someone close to you,” Stéphane Xiberras, creative director and president of BETC Paris, told AdFreak.
Fashion bloggers helped inform the content of Delage’s posts all the way down to the filters it used, The Guardian reported.
Xiberras told AdFreak he was disappointed that few of Delage’s followers picked up on her “serious alcohol problem” and that he hoped the campaign would serve as an “eye opener” to help those struggling with addiction.
In the United States, about 12 percent of adult women report binge drinking three times a month, averaging five drinks per binge, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For men, about 23 percent report binge drinking five times a month, averaging eight drinks per binge. About 2.5 percent of women and 4.5 percent of men met the diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependence in the past year.
Excessive drinking is associated with numerous health problems, including high blood pressure and pancreatitis, unintentional injuries, and violence.