By SAMANTHA COHEN
This past weekend Australian Instagram star Essena O’Neill garnered a lot of attention after speaking out against social media
Her Instagram “fame” of more than 700,000 followers and YouTube channel of over 200,000 followers showed an inside look of her healthy vegan lifestyle and fitness advice.
She abruptly changed her Instagram name to “Social Media is Not Real Life” and deleted multiple photos replacing them with rewritten captions. She revealed the enormous amount of work and effort that goes into creating an image of her-self that in reality is not real.
I admire what O’Neill has done and her message is highly important in today’s society where social media are everything to millennials. I feel that this will allow the image of what looks like to be a perfect and ideal life, will show that things are not as perfect as they seem.
With female body image issues at an all time high this admission will show that no one is perfect. For example, O’Neill was particularly frank about her attempts to change the way her body looked in her photos re-captioning a bikini picture with “A 15-year-old-girl that calorie restricts and excessively exercises.”
O’Neill has been able to take the social media platform she has and put it towards social awareness. Societal culture today promotes media and the fame that comes along with it, as being the ultimate accomplishment, by creating an illusion to an idea of a filtered life.
O’Neill says that everything she was doing was edited and contrived.
Numerous news media organizations from The New York Times to Teen Vogue to Yahoo each covered this story, which has truly become a major eye opener into the life of social media celebrities. I feel that this has really been the first time someone as shared what its really like. As someone who is a social media user, I find it highly interesting that what I see on Instagram might not be what it seems.