We have to admit that Social Media has changed the way the world functions, looks at itself and behaves. Today, what people think of you matters and not only what you feel and youth are quite concerned about the number of likes and shares they get for their posts on social media. The fact that you expose yourself to be judged by anyone and everyone out there, adds to the pressure and with it seeps in insecurity for some, or all. The pressure of being liked on these platforms is of utmost importance to us and one can only imagine what it is to be in the shoes of professional models, for example, in the case of this Instagram model, Essena O’Neill’s. Essena had a staggering 580,000 followers on Instagram, 260,000 subscribers on her YouTube account and 60,000 on Snapchat, but after years of appearing in front of the lenses, she lashed on the fabrication of society on these platforms. The effect that the media had on Essena forced her to quit these sites and take down 2000 photos and her reason, despite being successful, is an eye-opener for all users and models alike. This is what she had to say after she posted her modelling pics about truth behind the scenes.
Essena re-posted her previous photos and re-captioned it after her decision, and describes what she went through to get this click perfect.
She then went all out to express her view on consumerism and how much she was paid to dress up and look fascinating.
O’Neill then renamed her account “Social Media Is Not Real Life” to expose the fabrication of these platforms.
Essena then launched her own website, an anti-modelling one, called “Let’s Be Game Changers” which consisted of her personal blogs and opinions, a community forum for discussions and a series of supplemental anti-modeling vlogs that exemplify her reasons to step aside from mainstream modeling.
She then finally uploaded this video on her site, a 17-minute 40 second video, in which she explains the business functioning of the industry, the effect it had on her physically and mentally and the reason why she had no option but to stay away from this dark yet illustrious career in order to save herself.
Finally, this is what she wrote as the description on her website and the blunt reasons why she quit modelling:
“I was miserable. Stuck. Uninspired. Angry. I didn’t enjoy the act of creating art, writing or any forms of self-expression like I once did as a child. When no one judged it, I created without limitation or filters. When it was for no one else but me, I fell in love with it. And it loved me right back. It made me feel alive. It was like capturing and expressing real life, real feeling, real beauty — it gave me this joy that I still can’t explain. You know that feeling of inspiration, passion and purpose you get when you do something you just love? That’s why I do what I do. I don’t want approval anymore, it traps me into thinking I need more and more and more. I don’t want to be liked or judged either. I want a place where I can give with no expectations or outcome. I don’t want followers anymore. I want a world of individual beings.”