Russian Influencer Miroslava Duma — part of the original crop of street-style stars that rose in the mid-2000s — said on Instagram on Sunday that she almost died this year from a “rare lung disease.” She said she was given seven months to live. It’s unclear when she received the diagnosis, or whether or not she’s still sick, although she wrote, “It was crazy scary then, but looking back, I realise that the past few months of recovery were possibly the happiest months of my entire life.”
In a lengthy caption, Duma wrote that her illness made her reassess her life as an influencer and editor. “My entire life I was seeking approval and obsessing over ‘likes’ both in the physical and virtual worlds, without realizing that I actually had to learn how to ‘like’ myself first. Years of self criticism and doubt, stress, dieting, physically, mentally and emotionally pushing and pushing myself got my immune system to collapse and I had made myself fatally sick.”
This announcement may come as a surprise for anyone who has followed Duma for a long time. She’s still been posting regularly, mostly about her vacations, kids, and sustainable fashion company, Future Tech Lab. But there have been subtle changes. She hasn’t been posting about Fashion Weeks (although this may be because of recent scandals). She went to the Extinction Rebellion protests in London in lieu of the shows, and these days you’re more likely to find a photo of Greta Thunberg on her page than a street-style shot.
Duma wrote that she had shifted her mentality and didn’t care so much about likes or external validation. “[Success] is measured by my own health, and the health of those I love. It is measured by how I choose to contribute to the world,” she said. She ended her note thanking everyone in her life with “all my heart (and my lungs).”