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Social Media Isn’t Real?! 

Recently an eighteen year old girl called Essena Oneill from Australia has completely changed her social media accounts and it has caused controversy. 

Essena was once a social media queen who has thousands of followers mainly on her Instagram and YouTube. Her tiny figure, pretty face and blonde hair meant she was the ‘goals’ that young women supposedly look up to. 

But recently something changed. This young woman realised that her social media was a lie and the things people were complimenting on and aspiring towards wasn’t real. It turned out almost all of her candid shots on Instagram were manufactured and she would take one picture over 50 times just to make sure it was perfect. 

Instead of just carrying on with it and being unhappy she decided to do something about it and used her social media accounts to tell people the truth – a move I find incredibly courageous. In some of these pictures the outfit she wears was bought for her to show off on her social media, something most people call an Ad. She said she’d often get about 2000 dollars for one image on her Instagram is she wore a piece of clothing a company had sent her. 


The reason this girl has caused controversy in a way that may not be positive is I’ve noticed a lot of people, mainly on Twitter, bashing her and saying she’s doing this for more views. Yes, she may be doing this but, it takes a lot of courage to tell your viewers, the people that look up to you and aspire to be like you, that the last 3 or 4 years of your life has been a lie. Yes she may and probably will get a lot more views from this ‘publicity stunt’ as some people call it but what happens when that dies down? She’s ultimately trashed her reputation to reveal the truth and that is an incredibly brave thing to do. May be she’ll stop receiving all these fancy dresses and compliments but in the end as long as she is happy in herself isn’t that enough? 

I personally think this girl is incredibly inspiring. I know I follow a lot of fitness Instagrams and I don’t think maybe that picture was manipulated or what they say isn’t really the whole story. I think it’s pretty easy to tell if a post is an ad because it doesn’t seem as truthful and the words used in the caption are often robotic but how am I supposed to know that the person who says they eat a smoothie bowl and an apple for breakfast is really binging on twenty Jaffa cakes? 

On social media people only show you what they want you to see. No one is ever completely honest even if they seem to be. That clean cut youtuber you follow may actually swear like a sailor but their management makes them stop because of their audience. That fitness model you follow on Instagram may not really look like that, the way she looks is all down to angles and the way she stands. It’s not that hard to fake a thigh gap. 

I’m not saying that people should start being more honest on social media, it’s your social media after all. You do you and and enjoy it. But when you’re looking at other peoples accounts and you see them there with their tiny waist and promoting the newest Boo Tea take it with a pinch of salt. Don’t try to aspire to be like these models. If you want to get healthy or whatever then yeah great go on and do it but don’t make someone else’s body ‘goals’ you should be happy in your own skin. 

What do you think of this? Do you think she did the right thing or is it just a stunt to gain more views? 

Until next time. 


  1. I hadn’t even heard of this girl until a couple of days ago, but what she’s done is great publicity. She’s launched a website which crashed because so many people wanted to read about it and it’s amazing PR. However, she is a very naive teenager. She would’ve started her instagram account to be just like the girl that she became and it took her x amount of years to realise that if someone has a lot of followers, some of it will be fake. I think she’s missed the point and gone right in the opposite direction rather than just being honest. She’s slamming herself and she’s slamming companies. I can imagine that a lot of companies won’t be approaching her, and then where will she get her income? This is all she has known for the last couple of years.

    I don’t blame her, I just feel like it’s all a bit of a publicity stunt and she needs to maybe realise that she could’ve played it in a different way. But it’s so interesting to hear different POVs about this situation.

    Sophie x | Essential Twenty


  2. An interesting read. I think you’ve tackled two issues in this post, firstly the falseness of social media. Today is the first time I’ve heard of Essena. I wonder where her parents were when she was becoming a social media star? Does that make me sound terribly old? Why were they not pointing out to her that social media can be very false & that what she was creating was not a true representation of the world? If it had been me in her position I know that, while my parents would have supported me, they would also have kept me grounded & I would have known that I was portraying a warped version of reality.

    You also mention at the end of the post about the issue of body image & young people aspiring to be something that isn’t real. While I completely agree with you that this goes on, it isn’t anything new – another reason why I wonder how Essena hadn’t realised sooner that she was portraying something that was not a reality.

    I’m glad Essena has realised that social media can be used to twist reality, but I’m not sure how her posting in the way she has helps the situation. Why bite the hand that feeds you? Plus, with social media being something that can easily be manipulated, how do we know we can trust this new version of Essena?

    Tania | When Tania Talks


    • Very good observation! I think her parents should have taken a role in making sure what she was doing was her choice and not something done just for money. I also don’t know what will happen in her future. I doubt people will want to work with her in the future due to this so she may have trashed that part of her life but hopefully the next stage she can go into will be a brighter one that she’ll fully enjoy. But to be honest this’ll probably be old news by tomorrow. News passed so quickly these days! Thanks for your comment 🙂 x


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