Article by Simon Miraudo /
Smart Company /
November 04, 2015 /
Click here to view original /
Newly retired Instamodel Essena O’Neill has posted a new video titled “overwhelmed and beyond words grateful”, in which she tearfully responds to the support she’s received since quitting social media.
The 18-year-old O’Neill made waves when she told her 574,000 Instagram followers that she was walking away from the photo-posting platform… though not before she re-edited her posts with “real” captions.
Retitled “Social Media Is Not Real Life”, her Instagram account is now exclusively an indictment of the social media experience.
Since dropping her truth bombs, she has amassed even more fans, with 916,000 now following her on Instagram (many of whom, apparently, haven’t cottoned on to the fact that she’s not planning on posting there any longer).
She’s now refocusing her energy on Let’s Be Game Changers, a new site promoting “good and positive change.”
“Love the people around you and don’t live in my phone,” she advises.
Update #2: The video has since been removed too.
Some have had their suspicions raised by O’Neill’s rebranding.
Dr. Lauren Rosewarne, an expert in gender and sexuality as well as the politics of pop culture at the University of Melbourne, told the ABC, “this is… not only a reflection of audience aversion to feeling duped but cynicism regarding the genuineness of any mea culpas.”
“She is finding ways to milk a second set of attention from her already-posted photos by rebranding herself as somehow reformed and body-positive.”
“This doesn’t negate the message but nor does it come across as totally spontaneous.”
What are your thoughts on Essena O’Neill’s new movement?