Essena O'Neill Opens Up About Staying Skinny in New Video

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A couple of weeks ago, former Instagram star Essena O'Neill made headlines for quitting social media, calling out the fact that much of it wasn't real. She has since quit Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube and Snapchat, using her new website, Let's Be Game Changers, and Vimeo channel to spread her message.

One of her more recent videos outlines the super unhealthy habits she adopted to remain a "fitspiration" to her followers, reports Refinery29.

In the video, Essena posts a series of three images with a tanned, toned belly, perky breasts and very little body fat. "Strong to me at that time meant skipping meals, it meant eating as less as I could, it meant I saw food as like an addiction," Essena says in the video.

You're My Inspiration from Essena O'Neill on Vimeo.

"I developed a relationship with my body and food and overall health to be 'I'm healthy when I look like these women,'" Essena goes on, referring to the fitness models that she looked up to as her own role models. "But there's something so inherently wrong with this because these women fit society's nearly impossible standards for aesthetic beauty."

Essena says that people told her they looked up to her as fitness inspiration, but she was only perpetuating those same misguided expectations.

"I can't say I'm an inspiration for meeting society's impossible standards for women," Essena says. "That is not inspirational."

At the end of the video, Essena reveals she is now eating a high-calorie vegan diet. We hope she's feeling stronger and happier - and hopefully as a result of Essena's message, people will stop holding themselves to unattainable body image ideals.


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