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The Accidental Influencer: How My Need to Get Likes Nearly Ruined My Life, is the story of how Bella Younger's instagram alter-ego Deliciously Stella nearly broke her in two where the demands of always being on the Gram took over.
I thought I could have lots of followers, without needing followers. I thought I could monetise my account without selling out. I thought that I was different, that I wasn't like other girls. But I was, and that's why I had to stop.
When Bella Younger spawned Deliciously Stella - her hilarious and daring social media alter ego - she wanted to prove once and for all that Instagram does not equal reality. Within weeks, she'd gone viral and begun her very own #influencerlife. Shoot. Post. Repeat.
In 2016, Bella gained 75,000 followers overnight, and hundreds of likes a minute. Soon she was being paid thousands of pounds to beat up a cake for the 'gram, attend ludicrously lavish influencer gifting events and was dropping emoji-bombs left, right and centre. But even as the constant rush of notifications fuelled her endorphins, life among the Instafamous began to take a toll.
As Bella's carefree presence flourished online, her health began to spiral offline, culminating in a stint at The Priory for social media addiction. Should she have undertaken a month-long run of stand-up comedy immediately after she was discharged? Probably not, but the pressure to be 'on' and online was all-consuming - and she had followers to please after all... Funny, frank and fearless, The Accidental Influencer is a relatable story of the precarious balancing act between our online and offline selves - and the truth behind the staged shots, spon-con, and the coveted but ever-elusive blue tick.