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We live in a world where social media superstars exist, making us all jealous of the food they consume or the celebrities they hang out with. One such superstar, Essena O’Neill, decided she had had enough with said “fame” and decided to tell the truth about social media. The 18-year-old Australian model spent the last three years of her life building her audience, posting bikini pics and carefully crafted hashtags, before editing all of the captions on her photos to reflect how she really felt in each of those moments. The new captions describe a girl who’s not nearly as happy as the one that appears in the photo (a truth many of us may be familiar with) as she deconstructs the fake-ness of her former industry.
O’Neill then posted a 17-minute video railing against social media and the models that young girls and women aspire to, telling her watchers to go outside, communicate with people in person, and stop being followers. Ever since she was 12, she was obsessed with becoming Insta-famous, she says, but she no longer wants to be a part of that world. She also plugs her new site letsbegamechangers.com that seeks to “be the change” that she wants in the world. Watch the video above, and then take the time to watch her full video. It’s gone viral and has sparked new conversations about modeling and internet fame. Can O’Neill change how we think about social media?