Essena said the only reason she went to the beach was to take this shot in this bikini because a company paid her to do it.
Essena said the only reason she went to the beach was to take this shot in this bikini because a company paid her to do it. Tessa Mapstone

Social Media Celebrity's Instagram truths change mindsets

COOLUM teenager Essena O'Neill has inspired readers with her frank revelations her Instagram photos were mostly staged and sponsored or paid for.

Emily McLean said she often looked at Essena's Instagram feed wishing she had Essena's body, face and her followers.

"For her to change all of her captions on her Instagram with over 500k followers, to include the truth behind the photos like 'I didn't actually go for a run, I just put on workout clothes, posed for the photo, and pretended I did' - changes my mindset on everything," she commented on the Daily's Facebook page.

"Yes it's sad that I've spent half my life wishing I was someone else, not just Essena but other girls and women - but this has finally realised that it's all a lie."

Coolum teen Essena O'Neill is one of the new breed of social media "celebrities" - but she's reacting against her own...

Posted by Sunshine Coast Daily on Sunday, 1 November 2015

Essena, an 18-year-old Social Media Celebrity, revealed her real life was nothing like the images she shared of herself on Instagram and said it was time her followers knew it.

"I have created an image of myself that I think others feel is unattainable, others look at as a role model, others look at as some type of 'perfect human'," she said.

"I am definitely not a role model, I am definitely so so far from perfect. I make more mistakes than anyone I know."

Emily McLean was likely one of thousands of young women who harboured an unhealthy desire to have the life they thought Essena had, as Danielle Townsend said.

"It is easy for impressionable young people to look at these pics of these seemingly perfect looking people with their perfect looking lives and looks and clothes etc.," she said.

"It's not realistic when these people take 20, 30 photos to choose one they can caption 'just chillin'' when they've just spent half an hour picking the pic with the best lighting to upload," she said.

"It's not natural. Its all fake and a lot of effort.

"Teenagers are glued to these sites trying to live up to the ideals that they see.

"We live in a world of social media zombies that find the concept of the real world unreal."

Essena deleted thousands of photos from her Instagram feed and re-captioned others, telling the real story behind the pictures.