Ona Artist is an influencer with 3.8 million followers and a bountiful bank balance.
But achieving riches has had some drawbacks for her.
The 28-year-old, from Seattle, USA, says friends have cut her out of their lives since she got successful.
Some of her friends are disapproving of the sexy snaps she posts online and have accused her of “pandering to perverts”.
The model and businesswoman said: “I’ve lost several friends who viewed my ‘sexy’ Instagram as anti-feminist and wrong.
“My best friend cut ties with me because she interpreted my sexy approach as degrading to women and my other best friend’s mum, who is a staunch feminist, said I was ‘dragging women backwards’ and ‘pandering to perverts’.”
Ona continued: “My friend inevitably sided with her mum and we are no longer friends.
“I’ve had years of struggle with family members too, who felt what I was doing was embarrassing and shameful.
“Not long after I started working hard to grow my Instagram, a family member expressed her disapproval of my choice as well.
“There was also a lot of family drama around how my choices ‘impacted the community’ and ‘embarrassed the family’…
“In our society, as soon as a woman is performing for or selling to a male market, she’s seen as a sl*t – especially if she has an OnlyFans where she’s doing more than she can do on Instagram.”
It’s not just loved ones who have turned on the influencer – as she’s been on the receiving end of trolls too.
Ona added: “I’ve also been threatened with physical harm by women online, who felt I was being anti-feminist merely by the fact that I was advocating for the idea that women can be empowered by playing to the male gaze.”
But she doesn’t let these negative comments hold her back.
The internet star runs her own online trainig programme called Your Best Insta.
She teaches models how to use FaceTune and Photoshop, monetise content, purchase ads, negotiate offers and grow their accounts.
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Ona also gives budding influencers advice on dealing with trolls.
She said: “Every Insta model experiences direct hate and shaming on her page in the form of nasty and shaming comments.
“Those posts get reported or taken down, and sometimes the accounts are even deleted.
“Learning how to handle shame and abuse, how to feel proud and empowered and how to make money is one of the best ways to silence the shamers – and these are things I emphasise in my classes.”
While many still criticise this line of work, Ona believes the tides are turning.
She added: “In certain ways the stigma against being ‘sexy’ on social media has diminished.
"I wish my friends would turn a corner with all this – that they would celebrate my success and not subsume everything to some political agenda – but if they won’t, oh well.
“I’m making tons of new friends in the Instamodeling world, and their acceptance and enthusiasm are absolutely wonderful and refreshing!”
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