'It's Not Real Life': Teen Instagram Star Quits Social Media

The teenager earned up to $2,000 Australian dollars endorsing products on social media.

Essena O'Neill
Enessa O'Neill/YouTube

A teenage Instagram celebrity who had amassed over 500,000 followers, has announced she is quitting the social media platform, saying it is "unhealthy" and not "real life."

"I had everything I ever wanted," Essena O'Neill, 18, who lives on Australia's Sunshine Coast wrote under her YouTube video titled "Why I REALLY am quitting social media | The Truth [sic]."

"Now I'm here and I see how contrived, fake and forced consistently proving to the world 'how amazing my life/body/self is," O'Neill added.

Essena O'Neill
Instagram

According to the Guardian, O'Neill deleted over 2,000 of her old posts on October 27 and edited the captions on a remaining 96 pictures in order to "expose the harsh and often humors reality behind the #goals #instafamous culture [sic]."

One edited Instagram post reads: "Please like this photo, I put on makeup, curled my hair, tight dress, big uncomfortable jewellery. Took over 50 shots until I got one I thought you might like, then I edited this one selfie for ages on several apps just so I could feel some social approval from you."

O'Neill has since set up the Let's Be Game Changers, a website she says will cover "veganism, creative imagery with purpose, poems, writing, interviews with people that inspire me, and of course the finical reality behind deluding people off Instagram [sic]."

Essena O'Neill
Instagram

At the peak of her Instagram fame O'Neill was charging $2,000 Australian dollars ($2,790) per post for endorsing products and also received money for the advertising on her YouTube channel. On her new website O'Neill slams the industry, writing "Social media allowed me to profit off deluding people."

The Australian has received both positive and negative feedback following her decision. While one user commented under one of her posts, "I was speechless when I first read an article about you quitting. Just wanna let you know that you inspired me," Another wrote: "Social media isn't that serious, you have no one else to blame but yourself."

Try Newsweek: Subscription offers

In the magazine
console.log('docend');