Sunday, November 15, 2015

ESSENA O'NEILL

Dear gorgeous person, you!




So I'm not actually one to make response videos but I really felt like I had to with this one! Everyone has heard of Essena O'Neill quitting social media and one part of me feels like it's one big publicity stunt and a half! However, that is not my call to make.

Here's a video I made to express my thoughts on the matter but I also expand on it below.....





It's amazing how the very opposite of what she says in her video is exactly what she is doing. She says she's quitting social media by deleting her Instagram account . If I was really quitting social media, I would simply deactivate all my accounts and disappear - no one will notice. However in Essena's case, she has gone and made a series of videos and a full on website - still seeking the very same thing she claims to be avoiding - validation from people's clicks, likes and responses.

Without sounding like a hypocrite and as a fellow blogger, we know social media is big right now and people get paid for their social media posts. If she really felt remorseful (because she genuinely believes she's been fake and deceived everyone), then she would have apologised but I did not hear her say sorry once! 

Essena has essentially had a public breakdown in the subtlest, most pleasant way possible. I feel her perception of beauty is totally distorted (going by the edited captions on her photographs) but she also seems to have clever people around her who have advised her to use this to make more noise! Essena's "fake friends" also made a video to address the situation and tell the real truth (depending on what you want to believe) and here it is.




On Essena's new website, she has started doing something called 'Behind the image' where she posts a pic and does a voice over to say how long it took to get to the perfect pic and how she was really feeling. Essena posted this pic in the video below and claimed it took a few hours, 100 shots and lots of editing but actually the truth was revelead in this video below, posted by her friend's father who actually took the photo and it turns out it only took 9 secs and 6 photos (the 3rd of which was the shot she chose). I personally find it insulting that she would further insult the intelligence of the very people she is claiming to help (i.e. her fans) by "exposing" the world of social media. I'm actually starting to think she may have a slight mental health problem.




I have a lot to say on the matter in terms of how much of a hypocrite I feel she is and I suppose I could break it all down to you but actually, that's not what I'm about. Instead, the big sister in me just feels really sorry for her. Hence, what I would like to focus on is how reflective her video making the news made me feel. It says a whole lot about the society we live in that such an irrelevant story like this can make international news! I have realised 'social media' is not primarily to blame - the fashion industry is! Being 'skinny', having a 'flat stomach', being 'tall' (and whatever else the fashion industry says beauty is) has been drummed into our minds from birth - in television, in commercials, in magazines etc. Admittedly, despite all of these things being present, no one physically shoves it down our throats. Hence, we are the ones who put the pressure on ourselves and it inevitably manifests in our social media posts. 

I am ashamed to say, like Essena, I have not just fallen victim but I have also become part of this terrible culture that encourages young people to perceive beauty in a very distorted way without even realising it!!!!!! The first thing a bride thinks of when she's getting married is to 'lose weight' - who says looking gaunt in a very expensive wedding gown is beautiful??? As the quote in my video says, 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder..but remember... you are the beholder'. You wake up everyday and tell yourself you are f*cking gorgeous, because you are!!! I have been very honest in my videos about how much of a learning curve this has been for me and is still working progress.

Here's the video I talked about called 'I Am Enough'. Hope it inspires you to see yourself differently the next time you look in the mirror because you couldn't be anymore perfect!




So to Essena and all the other young people out there, here's an apology from the bottom of my heart, from my generation and the ones above - we have failed to remind you of your essence, your worth, your beauty, your perfection. I promise to do the best I can from now on to help you see the best in you, always.

Love,
J
xo xo

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