Former Instagram Star is Named One of the Most Influential People in the World
Essena O'Neill was simply one among thousands of Instagram celebrities; a beautiful 19-year-old girl who had a lifestyle many would kill for. However, what set this young Australian apart from her peers was that she actively chose to reject it all. In November 2015, Essena released a 17-minute video on YouTube, describing why she was quitting social media and ending her career as an social media idol, but also went on to re-caption many of her Instagram pics, describing how meaningless and fake her lifestyle was. She wrote:
'I was lost, with serious problems so beautifully hidden … If anything my social media addiction, perfectionist personality and low self-esteem made my career. Over-sexualisation, perfect food photos, perfect travel vlogs – it is textbook how I got famous. Sex sells, people listen to pretty blondes, I just happened to talk about veganism [which was] a trending thing on YouTube."
Essena had approximately 500,000 Instagram followers, a contract with a modelling agency, and constantly flitted between Australia and Los Angeles to pursue her flourishing career. But since her decision to quit her way of life, Essena has not only been working on a book titled How to Be Social Media Famous, but also earned a spot on Time Magazine's list of the most influential people on the internet. Joining the likes of Kanye West, Drake, Caitlyn Jenner, and J.K. Rowling, Essena has been extremely vocal regarding the truth behind her photos.
Inspiring Australian Bloggers
Of course, Essena isn't the only Aussie girl that can break down unattainable body images and instead promote a positive message to every woman out there. There are many fantastic bloggers who are routinely urging anyone and everyone to be happy and comfortable with who they are – regardless of colour, shape, or age. Blogging has been a recent and effective way to build a cohesive online community that inspires, rather than shames. To read articles and see pictures from women you identify with – more than a supermodel in a glossy magazine – can really give support to those in need.
In fact, any girl who loves to write, possesses a camera, and has a message of their own to tell, should look into how their words and pictures can get online, as this option is one way to make it happen. This is especially advantageous since companies that offer WordPress blog hosting can take care of the technical side, while you focus on the creative side of things.
Buzzfeed has put together a great list of awesome Aussie bloggers, which you're sure to love. Some of our favourites include Delina Darusman-Gala, Danielle Melnyczenko, Margaret Zhang, and Samantha Morris – all of whom are gorgeous, funny, and always provide great content.