Monday 5 December 2016

This Australian blogger got real about what it takes to be Insta-famous and the reality is pretty grim

Published 03/11/2015 | 10:36

Picture: Essena O'Neill/Instagram
Picture: Essena O'Neill/Instagram

Don't believe everything you see on Instagram.

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Most adults know that personalities' perfectly cultivated social media profiles are filled with filters and endorsements of paid-for product reviews, but an Australian blogger has shed some light on the grim reality of exactly what it takes to be Insta-famous.

Essena O'Neill (18), who has more than 700,000 followers on Instagram and 260,000 on You Tube, shed some light on what her life as become in a bid to look picture perfect at all times online.

The teenager reverted back to her countless photos and changed captions on them to more honestly reflect the situation at the time - whether it's not eating for a day to get a flat belly in a bikini or plugging products simply because she was given a hefty sum of money.

The new caption on her debs photo from last year reads: "I didn't pay for the dress, took countless photos trying to look hot for Instagram, the formal made me feel incredibly alone."

Read more: Caitlin McBride: Don't believe everything you see on Instagram

Accompanying a picture of her doing yoga on the beach, she wrote: "There is nothing zen about trying to look zen, taking a photo of you trying to be zen and proving your zen on Instagram."

In another bikini shot, the original caption said: “Things are getting pretty wild at my house. Maths B and English in the sun" - it now reads: “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.”

O'Neill, who is signed to IMG Models Worldwide, joined the site in 2013, and posted an emotional video on You Tube detailing her decision, in which she said she felt she hadn't earned her success.

"I haven't done anything for this success except put pictures of myself online," she explained in the clip.

"I haven't been truly vulnerable or honest yet ... this movement is for my 12-year-old self," she wrote in a teaser for the video.

"The girl that thought she was nothing because she wasn't popular online."

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