Teen Instagram star quits social media; says it's 'not real life'

A teenage Instagram and YouTube star abruptly quit social media this week, sending a strong message to today's youth.

Essena O'Neill, a 19-year-old online Australian prodigy, left behind nearly 2 million combined followers, explaining to her fans that her photos and videos were not real life.

Before signing off, she uploaded a video to her website with a passionate plea to today's teens to stop obsessing about numbers - the likes, the followers, the comments - they don't define you.

In fact, she went through her Instagram account and re-captioned all of her pictures, exposing the hundreds of takes to get the perfect shot of her flat stomach.

She said that perfect post meant that she sometimes wouldn't eat all day, and would spend hours taking several shots to get the perfect post.

Essena admits she was paid to be photographed with certain products and every single post was highly edited and fabricated.

"I told myself that when I have heaps of views people will view me, I will feel valued, I will feel happiness. I let myself be defined by numbers," she said. "I had it all and I was miserable."

Now, she's urging everyone - especially young girls - to live a less filtered life and just be themselves.

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