Model Edits Her Captions to Reveal the Disgusting Truth About Being Instagram Famous (UPDATE)

The 18-year-old wants people to know what really went on behind the scenes of those perfect photos.

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Image via Complex Original
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Update (11/3/15): Essena O'Neill has posted a tearful video expressing her thanks to those who have shown overwhelming support for her movement to expose the reality of social media fame.


See the original post below.

An 18-year-old Australian model is quickly changing the way we look at those perfect Instagram photos by sharing the truth about her social media career.  

Essena O'Neill has decided to reveal what really went behind capturing her seemingly flawless shots from paid endorsements to not eating before taking photos, in an effort to raise awareness of the destructive behaviors caused by social media.

Since 2012, O'Neill has dedicated her life to her accounts, and she has gained over 750,000 followers on Instagram. But, now she wants people to realize that it's fake.

In addition to editing the captions on her images, the model has deleted over 2,000 her photos and has renamed her account "Social Media Is Not Real Life." She hopes that this will be a wake up call to everyone. 


NOT REAL LIFE - paid $$$ to promote both the jeans and top. More info on how instagramer's make a lot of $$$ on

A photo posted by Social Media Is Not Real Life (@essenaoneill) on Mar 5, 2014 at 1:30am PST



NOT REAL LIFE - took over 100 in similar poses trying to make my stomach look good. Would have hardly eaten that day. Would have yelled at my little sister to keep taking them until I was somewhat proud of this. Yep so totally #goals

A photo posted by Social Media Is Not Real Life (@essenaoneill) on May 10, 2014 at 12:59am PDT



Was paid $400 to post a dress. That's when I had maybe 150k followers, with half a million followers, I know of many online brands (with big budgets) that pay up to $2000 per post. Nothing is wrong with accepting brand deals. I just think it should be known. This photo had no substance, it was not of ethical manufacturing (I was uneducated at the time). SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT REAL is my point. Be aware what people promote, ask yourself, what's their intention behind the photo?

A photo posted by Social Media Is Not Real Life (@essenaoneill) on May 26, 2014 at 12:16am PDT



NOT REAL LIFE - I didn't pay for the dress, took countless photos trying to look hot for Instagram, the formal made me feel incredibly alone. BEHIND THE IMAGE COMING SOON -

A photo posted by Social Media Is Not Real Life (@essenaoneill) on Jun 7, 2014 at 7:06pm PDT


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