Essena O’Neill, an 18-year old Australian fashion and beauty blogger and online celebrity who gathered more than half a million Instagram followers announced she is quitting social media after realizing the detrimental effect the hunt for likes and clicks had on her and others. In a 22-minute vlog posted to YouTube, O’Neill explained her reasons for quitting, revealing how she made a large income doing shoots to promote products on Instagram, but eventually felt “consumed by it,” saying “I wasn’t living in a 3D world.”
O’Neill deleted some 2,000 photos from her Instagram account “that served no real purpose other than self-promotion” and edited the captions to the remaining photos to reveal the reality behind them. One bikini photo which originally read “Things are getting pretty wild at my house. Maths B and English in the sun,” now says: “See how relatable my captions were — stomach sucked in, strategic pose, pushed up boobs. I just want younger girls to know this isn’t candid life, or cool or inspirational. It’s contrived perfection made to get attention.”
Her revelations gained a massive response from her followers, who praised her for being honest and speaking out. O’Neill says she now wants to focus on “real life projects”, beginning with a website she launched called “Let’s Be Game Changers,” dedicated to people who want to change society — featuring “no likes or views or followers … just my content as raw as I want.”
Read the full story at The Guardian.