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Aussie model mocked for criticising followers over 14 likes

AN AUSTRALIAN model has been ridiculed for criticising her followers after only receiving 14 likes on an Instagram picture.

Cassi Van Den Dungen, a runner up on the 2009 season of Australia's Next Top Model, shared a picture of the phrase "say yes to new adventures" two weeks ago with hashtags suggesting she was about to go on a road trip.

Dungen has walked for fashion houses including Calvin Klein and Miu Miu and is represented by Premier Model Management in London and SILENT Models New York.

On Monday, the 23-year-old re-shared the picture with the number of likes highlighted in red and a caption suggesting her followers might not like her having "new adventures".

"After going away on an amazing holiday/road trip I come home to see my post on new adventures had only 14 likes.....The lowest amount I've ever had on Instagram.

"I have to say I'm pretty shocked because this, to me, either means that people A) don't like me having new adventures, as if I'm not allowed fun, or B) it means people don't like new adventures....... Either way, all I have to say to those people who didn't like my post and don't like having fun is ......YOU ALL SUCK!!!!! Adventures are fun and I'll enjoy every one I have."

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Van Den Dungen was accused of seeking validation from strangers, and branded "pathetic" and "shallow" by users.

Her post came just days after Instagram model Essena O'Neill quit social media after claiming the online presences created by influencers were the products of "contrived images and edited clips ranked against each other". She also re-captioned a number of pictures explaining how they were sponsored or paid for by companies to sell products.

Van Den Dungen responded to criticism with a defiant post on Facebook, insisting her picture should have been taken in jest. She also claimed some users had sent her abusive messages about her appearance and even told her to kill herself.

She wrote: "The truth is I don't care about social media at all or anyone's opinion. The people telling me to kill really? How sad. The people who have commented on some negatively, really? Is life that bad that you can't see the fun in my post?"

She also addressed controversy in 2014 over her weight loss after she appeared gaunt while walking on the Sydney Fashion Week catwalk in. Her appearance caused shock in Australia and designer Alex Perry later described the decision to use Van Den Dungen while she appeared underweight as a "serious lapse in judgement".

Van Den Dungen wrote: "And calling me fat.....THANK YOU. It's nice to hear for a change.

"All the people who cracked it or spent the time talking about this, you really proved that I can't have fun. People in general can't have fun these days without some party pooper coming along and making it serious again.

"So in closing I hope everyone can rest easy in knowing that this was a bit of fun....thank you in participating in my games, it's been fun watching the reactions of people."

The Independent has contacted Van Den Dungen for comment. A spokesperson for Premier said: "We do not feel it is best for Cassi to comment on this occasion."

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