Reformed Instagram Model Will Post New Daily Videos To Promote Anti-Social Media Agenda

As we told you yesterday, Essena O’Neill is an Australian teen and reformed Instagram model who recently came to international attention for revealing the ugly truth behind carefully curated Instagram photos. Years of her life were wasted crafting a false narrative for her Instagram followers and dealing with the weight of the unrealistic expectations of manufactured fame. So she did what any person tired of scrambling for acceptance in the horrible social media echo chamber would do: announce that she’s quitting everything by posting an awful lot on social media.

In the above video, O’Neill cries hysterically while sharing her gratitude for all of the new followers and attention to her brand-new cause. On her new website, Let’s Be Game Changers, she instructs her followers, old and new, to swear off the evils of social media:

So my first little challenge for you is to go social media free for one week. Use your phone for texting friends ONLY. No Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube or Facebook or twitter or anything else where you view other people online. One week. Just one week. Post a caption or photo saying it’s a personal experiment. THEN DELETE ALL THE APPS OFF YOUR PHONE. I want you to actually do this and see what happens. My whole life changed when I did.

For more of O’Neill’s sweet, inspirational content, look no further than her newly-launched Vimeo page, where she will be posting daily. She writes:

I will be uploading one video a day from Monday-Friday here, on this video section. I love Vimeo for it’s positive and value based ranking, not likes or followers or BS ads.


Is this confusing? Yes! Yes it is. Teens and their hormones are crazy, unpredictable things, and I am in no way faulting O’Neill for wanting to put an end to her lifestyle of shilling detox tea and whatever else on Instagram. She has a choice; she made the choice. That’s the end of it. But publicly decrying the evils of social media while still using its influence to sway old followers and gain new ones in what could be just a calculated attempt to launch like, a vegan lifestyle blog empire, doesn’t feel quite right, either.

Any teen currently living and breathing and YikYaking understands, on some level, that all social media is fake as hell. Any Instagram celebrity living a life that seems beyond the means of a 17-year-old is probably getting paid for that shit.

We live in an age where the Kardashians, for better or for worse, are a powerful bellwether. We see how the sausage gets made, but we still eat the sausage. We love it. We ask for more. O’Neill’s epiphany is admirable because some of the things she’s said are important for young people who really do look up to her to hear, but it’s hard to see how this couldn’t be a strangely savvy move to divert attention from bikini shots and brunch to radical self-acceptance and Elizabeth Gilbert-style transcendence.

If that’s what it is, it’s okay to be upfront. We love a redemption narrative, but we’re really, really good at sniffing out bullshit.