Essena O'Neill, the 18-year-old Instragam model from Queensland, has released an emotional video following the global attention she's received for her campaign to reveal the ugly truth behind perceived perfection on social media.
Boasting 652,000 followers on the platform, O'Neill recently changed her Instagram name to "Social Media Is Not Real Life", and went back through old posts and updated each with the truth behind each shot, detailing how many frames it took to get the shot, which posts were sponsored, and often how lonely and negative she felt at the time.
Her story went global, with media outlets around the world picking up her story.
"Never did I think this would be shared so globally. I have so much I want to say and talk about. Thank you to all these media outlets for helping start this discussion. I am so so so grateful," said in a statement on her website.
"I'm crying because I needed to hear this when I was younger, heck anyone who spends hours and hours on a screen wishing they could have a 'perfect' life, this is for you. There is nothing cool about spending all your time taking edited pictures of yourself to prove to the world 'you are enough'.
"Don't let numbers define you. Don't let anyone tell you you're not enough without excessive makeup, latest trends, 100+ likes on a photo, 'a bikini body', thigh gap, long blonde hair.
"I was born into the flesh I have, there is nothing inspirational about that. I am just so grateful to think of how many young men and women might see this movement and stop limiting themselves to artificial ideas of happiness online.
"When you stop comparing and viewing yourself against others, you start to see your own spark and individuality. Everyone has love, kindness, creativity, passion and purpose. Don't let anyone sell you something different."Suggest a correction