Essena O’Neill is a gorgeous is a gorgeous 19 year-old model from Australia who made headlines recently when she publicly quit social media.
It all started a few weeks ago, when Essena posted a photo of herself wearing a pink sports bra and biker shorts. Now, however, the model has revealed the dark story behind the photo.
“I took these images between the ages of 15 and 16,” Essena said in a video called “You’re My Inspiration.” “During that time I had a very conditional view of self-love. I was happy when I looked like the girls that I admired when I was younger.”
According to American Overlook, Essena now says that when she was a younger teen, she would always compare her body to the bodies of other women on social media. She spent hours looking at photos of women who were “tanned with tight stomachs and firm breasts and nice thin thighs.”
“I had this idea that to love myself I had to look like these girls,” she admitted. In order to look like the other women she saw, Essena began skipping meals and working out obsessively.
“Strong to me at that time meant skipping meals, it meant eating as [little] as I could, it meant I saw food as an addiction,” the model said.
Essena has since quit social media, and she has no regret about leaving behind the selfies that secretly had a very dark backstory.
“I posted images like this of myself and everyone told me how much of an inspiration I was,” the model says. “It’s heartbreaking to think that maybe young girls […] would screenshot these images and then work out excessively and calorie restrict, or just have an idea of self based on aesthetics like I did, and then punish themselves for not looking like me.”
What do you think about Essena’s story? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.