By dropping a few major #TruthBombs by editing her Instagram feed, Essena shed some light on the falsehoods behind the business of social media, outing things like sponsored posts that she got paid for, and the excessive amount of times it took her to get "candid" photos just right. At the time of publication, Essena has more than 870,000 followers on Instagram, and that number has been steadily growing since the story went viral.
Today, she posted an emotional video on her Vimeo channel explaining how grateful she is for the overwhelmingly positive responses.
"This message that likes, followers, views - that we're more than a number - it's going global!" she says in the video with tear-stained cheeks.
OVERWHELMED AND BEYOND WORDS GRATEFUL from Essena O'Neill on Vimeo.
"Young people can find out the reality behind the perfect Instagram life and how nothing is perfect about spending every single day making your life look perfect online," Essena says of her mission.
While we know that Instagram isn't always what it seems, we love that Essena's aiming her message at the young and impressionable who might not have learned this lesson yet. As she said in her YouTube video yesterday, she's doing it for her "12-year-old self."
Essena mentioned that many media outlets have reached out to her for comment. We can't wait to see what her next step is going to be - it seems like she's about to make some radical, refreshing changes!