This story is for those of you who obsessively check your Instagram accounts, your YouTube channel, your blog(s), your Facebook page, your Twitter handle with the zeal of a lion hunting for prey. You're more than that one extra 'like', that one bonus re-tweet, that carefully orchestrated 'share'. Social media isn't what it looks like. Get over it already.
Australian fashion blogger, Instagram star and model Essena O'Neill who had over 612,000 followers on Instagram and over a million views for her YouTube channel, pointed out: It. Is. Not. Real. None of it is.
That glamourous life you see through the posts of your favourite internet sensation? Yeah, not real. That perfect angle, does not exist. There is no such thing as a 'perfect body'. Muffin top or not, your body is fine lady.
Attracted to the world of fashion since age 12, and obsessed with the 'lives' of social media celebrities, Essena wanted what they had - a perfect life. Unlike most people, Essena's dream did come true. Young, pretty and wholly devoted to do what it takes to get that 'perfect shot' and that extra 100 followers, she did what sadly a large number of young girls are succumbing to. She became the perfect tool for social media marketers to showcase their product, skipping meals in the process.
"Culture creates validation and insecurity and I did everything in my power to prove to the world that I'm important....I was miserable because of numbers I saw on a screen. And now even with all these followers, I don't know what is real and what is not," she said in a now deleted YouTube video.
With money rolling in, along with a dramatic increase in her fan-following, things looked great for Essena. She got signed by a modelling agency, she flew abroad for shoots, she met other internet celebrities, but she didn't find what she was looking for. Happiness.
She had sacrificed so much to look good, she forgot how to feel good. November 3rd was Essena's 19th birthday and she has officially kicked her addiction to social media.
She's quit, but not before requesting her 612,000 followers to put down their phones and go out and live a little.
Here are some of her re-edited photos: