Backlash Begins: Essena O'Neill's Mates Are Calling Her A Liar
The Debrief: Can we all leave Essena O'Neill alone now?
If you haven't heard about Essena O'Neill, the 19 year old instagram star with around 570,000 followers who deleted most of her photos and replaced the remaining captions with diatribes about how social media 'isn't real', then good for you. Were you out mountain climbing or tasting the sea air? Either way, the insta-famous Essena's previously perfect insta-life became about showing what's really behind the insta-perfect (that's a wrap on prefixing words with 'insta') and just how many shots it took to get the perfect picture.
She announced she was quitting social media, before promptly realising she couldn't pay for anything without it, and appealed for donations from her fans: 'I can't afford rent right now,' she said in a video on her website LetsBeGameChangers.com.
'It's like I am embarrassed to admit that I need help... if this [website] is of value to you then please support me because I can't afford my own real life. Which made everyone question her motives.
Social Media CEO Zack James went viral with a Facebook status pointing out that social media is whatever you want it to be, rather than a lie - and saying it's a lie just proves you don't know how to use it properly. Deep burn.
On top of this, Essena's friends Nina and Randa (who also have a fiarly big following) are making YouTube videos picking apart Essena's video-based rant, but rather than proving that this is all one big publicity stunt, the pair inadvertently just painted a picture of a young confused girl who is railing against the perfect life she created by blaming social media. And you can see her point, even if you don't agree with it: who doesn't scroll through pictures of people's perfect lifestyles and feel totally shit about themselves? Even though we know it's technically not real, we can't help but be emotionall affected by it on some level.
Obviously now Essena O'Neill has drummed up enough publicity for her new website - but why would someone with that strong a following desperately need the publicity? Sure, she's reached a whole new audience now, but they're not the sort of audience she wants, or needs, to communicate with - any website created under her name would have done well, without this circus that now surrounds her.
Instead of tearing her down, shouldn't we be asking why she's done this and sort of hoping she's OK? When you're 19 years old, you're just figuring out who you are and we all are liable to kick off - it just so happens that Essena O'Neill is doing it in front of everyone. If her friends Nina and Rando are right, she's just been through a breakup which hit her especially hard. Maybe it's time to give her a break?
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