The 19-year-old model who quit Instagram says 'It's ok to feel!'

Australian Instagram model Essena O’Neill went viral this week after calling social media “fake” and saying it made her “miserable.”

She received a lot of backlash for it, as people called it a hoax and criticised her for not having deleted her Instagram, and for using YouTube, of all platforms, to blast social media. O’Neill has since deleted both, and said that the haters were proving her point.

Now, the 19-year-old has released a new video saying how good it felt to finally be honest, despite the backlash.

“If you think that video where I’m discussing how I felt when I was younger and how I don’t want to be there anymore was a ‘mental breakdown,’ I would then give you the stance to say ‘let yourself feel,'” explained O’Neill. “No one is perfect and no one has these perfect emotions, but being vulnerable, and honest, and raw with yourself is, I believe, the only way to move forward.”

O’Neill said she used to post misleading photos of herself on social media — but no more.

“I didn’t like the game I was playing so I wanted to change it,” she added. “Allowing yourself to feel emotion is what connects human beings and what makes us all the same. We all have emotion, we all have doubts and fears.”

Story by Aly Weisman, editing by Stephen Parkhurst

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