This Instagram Model Recently Edited Her Pictures To Reveal The Truth Behind Them

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Instagram model Essena O’Neill recently decided to take a stand against the false life that she has been presenting to everyone on her Instagram account for years. The posts look effortless and beautiful, but she wants people to know the truth behind them.

She reveals things like how much makeup she was wearing, how terrible she was feeling that day, and how many pictures she had to take in order to get one that looked just right. She’s also very candid about when she was getting paid to promote certain products. The end result is an Instagram feed that reveals so much about the way we present our lives online.

She wants the world to know that basing your happiness on how you look won’t get you anywhere.

Her captions also reveal how false our lives have become. What do we get by trying to prove our happiness and success on social media?

There is nothing zen about trying to look zen, taking a photo of you trying to be zen and proving your zen on Instagram.

A photo posted by Social Media Is Not Real Life (@essenaoneill) on Apr 16, 2014 at 2:21am PDT

Another thing that she wants us to be wary of is advertising on Instagram. People are paid to promote products, whether they really like them or not.

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

var OX_ads = OX_ads || []; OX_ads.push({ slot_id: “537251604_56399ff214f82”, auid: “537251604” });

Not real life. Only reason we went to the beach this morning was to shoot these bikinis because the company paid me and also I looked good to society's current standards. I was born and won the genetic lottery. Why else would I have uploaded this photo? Read between the lines, or ask yourself "why does someone post a photo… What is the outcome for them? To make a change? Look hot? Sell something? I thought I was helping young girls get fit and healthy. But I only realised at 19 that placing any amount of self worth on your physical form is so limiting! I could have been writing, exploring, playing, anything beautiful and real… Not trying to validate my worth through a bikini shot with no substance #celebrityconstruct

A photo posted by Social Media Is Not Real Life (@essenaoneill) on Dec 8, 2013 at 1:02am PST

O’Niell is also deeply concerned about the ways in which social media negatively affects body positivity.

Massive push up bra can distort your whole figure. I was 15 here. Don't be fooled.

A photo posted by Social Media Is Not Real Life (@essenaoneill) on Apr 11, 2013 at 1:56am PDT

Shopping complete! – because needing the latest trends is essential to human happiness. Looking good to impress others is just part of being social media famous. I had no idea how lost I was in material objects, the need to always have more and more, the waste it caused… The effect on the environment from manufacturing…Not to mention the child labour, unfair working conditions due to majority of clothes made in periphery counties… It's such a sad reality. It's actually hard having to shop consciously at recycled places or making sure it's Eco fabric… I fought against it for a while. Now I've let the social status ideologies of my life go (nearly aha) it's made wanting to shop at thrift stores so much more empowering and fun!

A photo posted by Social Media Is Not Real Life (@essenaoneill) on Dec 20, 2012 at 10:33pm PST

(via Elite Daily / Instagram — Essena O’Neill)

This is a great peek behind the curtain into what it’s really like to be an Instagram model. Essena O’Neill obviously has bigger goals than being pretty, and through this project, she’s shown that she’s intelligent, insightful, and critical of the status quo. In a sea of posed photos and fraudulent images, that’s really refreshing.

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