Former Playmate Crystal Hefner says she removed 'everything fake from my body,’ is empowered by ‘modesty’

Hugh Hefner's widow wrote a candid post on Instagram about the big changes she's making in the new year

Crystal Hefner is making some major changes in her life.

The former Playboy Bunny and widow of Hugh Hefner took to Instagram on Monday and wrote a lengthy post revealing that she’s "removed everything fake from my body and deleted all my old photos."

The 35-year-old accompanied the candid caption with a black-and-white photo of herself from the holidays, as well as two images of her follower statistics. They revealed that many of her followers from social media have dropped by the thousands since she decided to embrace her more modest appearance.

"After the last handful of years staying true to myself on social media, I feel that all the people here with me at this point actually care and are invested in my life in a positive way and for that I thank you," the former Playmate began.

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Crystal Hefner is embracing a more modest look.

Crystal Hefner is embracing a more modest look. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)

"Over five years, my account has shifted from not always safe for work posts to my REAL safe for work life," Hefner shared. "The real me. I was living for other people before, to make others happy, suffering internally in the process."

"As most of you know, I grew my following during my ‘Playboy’ years," wrote Hefner. "Certain photos grow followings fast. In short, sex sells. 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… 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 noted that after choosing to embrace a more natural appearance, she felt more empowered than ever – even if it meant her social media presence would be impacted.

"I removed everything fake from my body and deleted all my old photos," wrote Hefner. "I am more authentic, vulnerable and feel that I belong more to myself. I am mine."

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Crystal Hefner arrives at Rehab at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on June 13, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Crystal Hefner arrives at Rehab at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on June 13, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Mindy Small/FilmMagic)

"As I made this transition, I always thought… ‘Will my account survive?’ as I saw followers drop by the thousands every day (I use socialblade.com to check, you can type in any username and see for yourself)," she wrote. "I was in the red. Every day. I was watching the girls that had similar pages keep posting the same scantily clad stuff and growing exponentially while I tanked hard."

"But now it has shifted," Hefner continued. "Now it’s in the green. 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. For that I thank you."

Currently, Hefner has 3 million followers. The "Girls Next Door" alum promised she’s now focusing on her true self. And she hopes her decision will inspire others to do the same.

"If you follow for insight into my past life, my new one, my travels, my health hurdles, lifestyle, you name it… thank you," Hefner wrote. "I will make it my mission to try and help in all ways that I can while staying true to myself. 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."

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Hugh Hefner and Crystal Hefner attend Playboy Mansion's Annual Halloween Bash at The Playboy Mansion on October 25, 2014, in Los Angeles, California. 

Hugh Hefner and Crystal Hefner attend Playboy Mansion's Annual Halloween Bash at The Playboy Mansion on October 25, 2014, in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Playboy)

In 2011, the Playboy founder, then 86, proposed to the Playmate, who was 24 at the time. She called off the wedding days before the ceremony, but later changed her mind and they married at the end of 2012. Hugh passed away in 2017 at age 91.

In 2018, Hefner opened up to Fox News about her marriage to Hugh.

"When I first met Hef I was this kind of insecure college girl," said Hefner at the time. "He taught me love. He taught me kindness. He gave me life. He really did. He opened my mind, my world, to all of these opportunities and experiences I would have never in my lifetime been able to have. Our relationship was very loving. He treated me so well and was so respectful and kind."

While the union sparked scrutiny due to the 60-year age difference, Hefner insisted it didn't matter.

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Crystal Hefner today.

Crystal Hefner today. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)

"It’s interesting because he was so much older, but our relationship was kind of childlike," she explained. "It was almost as if he was a boy, a young boy, whose dreams had come true… He was childlike throughout his whole life."

"The reality is I feel so lucky that I was in a relationship where I was so loved, and so cared for, and respected, I appreciate that so much," she shared, adding that she hopes "that other people can find that."

Fox News' Mariah Haas and The Associated Press contributed to this report.