Video by Emily Verdouw
Social media stars and celebrities across the world have taken to their platforms to weigh in on Essena O’Neill’s campaign to expose the “contrived” world of social media, which went viral this week.
The 18-year-old from Queensland appeared on Channel Nine’s Today Show on Wednesday morning saying she had no idea her campaign would attract so much media attention while hitting back at claims she was only out to get more followers.
O’Neill’s declaration of social media being “fake” has upset some fellow social media influencers -- who say she is still self-promoting on social media -- despite claiming she is against it. However, for the most part reactions have been positive.
Australian fitness guru Kayla Itsines, who has over 3 million followers, used it as an opportunity to reiterate she would never promote a product she didn’t believe in while showing her support of O'Neill's message, "Social Media Is Not Real Life."
“I would NEVER sexualise myself or pose provocatively to sell anything,” Itsines wrote.
While Los Angeles Youtube duo Nina and Randa took aim at the Australian teen on their Youtube channel, posting a scathing video which went into detail of their experience with O’Neill, who they claim they befriended when she visited them in Los Angeles.
“Just because she views likes and views as validation, doesn’t mean that the rest of us are like that,” they said.
Actor, Emmy Rossum also weighed in, telling her followers to Google O’Neill’s video if they hadn’t already seen it.
“Numbers are nice but they aren't everything,” Rossum wrote.
Vegan Instagrammer Taline Gabriel, who has more than 200, 000 followers, defended the use of social media in her post, saying: “I continue to use it (Instagram) to offer health to the world in way of recipes and inspiration.”
“But that's just me and my own personal choice. You clearly have a choice to use it in whichever way you want. It's your business and you are in charge," she wrote.