A yoga influencer’s 650,000 followers are angry after her ‘weekly’ giveaways turned out not to be weekly at all

Jessica Olie in a

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Jessica Olie in a “Lower Body Flow” video.
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YouTube/Jessica Olie

  • A yoga influencer angered her 648,000 followers by announcing the launch of “weekly giveaways” that turned out not to be weekly at all.
  • Jessica Olie announced one “weekly giveaway” of two of her own-brand yoga mats, failed to pick a winner for a week, and hasn’t announced another giveaway since, leading some followers to think it was all a scam for boosting engagement.
  • But Olie told Buzzfeed News the giveaways were about “giving back” to people.
  • Her followers aren’t happy, though, with many venting their frustrations about feeling “used and lied to.”
  • Jessica Olie did not immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

A yoga influencer has angered her 648,000 followers by announcing the launch of “weekly giveaways” that turned out not to be weekly at all.

Jessica Olie is not only popular on the photo sharing platform but also has a YouTube channel and her own line of products, including $100 yoga mats, $31 cork yoga blocks, and $28 leg warmers.

She announced a “weekly giveaway” of two of her mats on Instagram then failed to pick a winner for a week and hasn’t announced another giveaway since, leading some followers to think it was all a scam for boosting engagement.

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My birthday is in a few weeks on the 21st of July, which means I’m Cancer ???? What zodiac are you? Comment below ✨ . Here is a beautiful poem written by @danielledoby that I wanted to share with you for all my fellow cancer babies ???? . Cancer 21 June – 22 July i am her. she is a daughter of the moon. the way she moves, breathes + creates is all a direct extension of her heart space. she feels things, deeply. connected on a cellular level, a higher way of being. as the moon turns, so does she. with each phase of its lunar cycle revealing the shifting hues of her awakening. a hand to hold. her grandmother’s necklace. your morning coffee. she is a fresh bloom. white linen sheets. a vivid daydream. her love is both a solid ground and soft landing. the meeting place of one’s true vulnerability + innermost magic. honouring both the light + the shadow, she births a life that demands to be felt. her beauty lives in her ability to heal others by healing herself. a gentle intensity, governed by empathy, her tenderness is what propels us forward. – @danielledoby | #yogapose #yogagirl #yogalove #letsstartyoga _____________________________________________ PC: @tomwilsonleonard ????

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But Olie told Buzzfeed News the giveaways were about “giving back” to people.

On August 4, she said in an Instagram caption: “GIVEAWAY SUNDAY STARTS TODAY.”

The London-based influencer continued: “Okkk now for some more FUN.

“I think it would be so awesome to do weekly giveaways on my page, so let’s kick this one off with a bang.”

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Edited: WINNERS @kamasyoga @this_dog_is_down ❤️ . GIVEAWAY SUNDAY STARTS TODAY ????… read below for details but first… . I say this every time I come to New York and I’m saying it again, this city inspires me so much. One of my favorite things is being able to meet people with beautiful energy and it was so much fun being able to shoot in this studio with my favorite @sfreneenyc and getting to hang out with this boss lady @stephottoyoga . Okkk now for some more FUN… I think it would be so awesome to do weekly giveaways on my page, so let’s kick this one off with a bang ???? . I’m giving away 2 YOGA MATS & 2 @letsstartyoga ebooks to two friends. . In order be able to win, here are the rules: ☀️ MUST tag a friend and show them love ☀️ DOUBLE TAP and SHARE this post on your story ☀️ You need to be following ME @jessicaolie AND @letsstartyoga ☀️ Shipping worldwide . Go go go ???????? #letsstartyoga #gymsharkwomen #gymshark ____________________________________________ Outfits: @gymsharkwomen [A D] ???? PC: @sfreneenyc

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She said she would be giving away two yoga mats and two of her ebooks to a pair of friends – all you would have to do to enter would be tag a friend and “show them love,” like the post and share it on your story, and be following Olie and her ebook Instagram account.

She’d be shipping worldwide, Olie said.

Needless to say, fans were excited, and many dutifully tagged their friends in the comments, hoping to snag the goodies.

But that excitement soon turned to confusion and annoyance when Olie failed to announce the winner for a whole week.

“Sorry I’m not sure if I miss it but who is the winner?” one follower wrote below the original Instagram post, which was swiftly followed by many more comments asking who’d won.

“Anxiously waiting… so dang excited,” added another.

Read more: An Instagram star has been accused of stealing a woman’s identity to fund a lavish trip to Hawaii and buy expensive designer bags ‘to get likes’

Olie ultimately announced the winner on her Instagram story, but her followers were then wondering where the next “weekly giveaway” was, given it was Sunday again.

The day passed without a giveaway, and her followers started to suggest they were being “used and lied to.”

“Yesterday was Sunday and no mention of a giveaway, so I guess it was all a scam to get more followers and engagement on her post,” one person wrote on a Reddit thread entitled “‘Yogi’ Jess Olie is driving me insane.

“Did I miss your Sunday giveaway yesterday?” another follower commented on one of Olie’s posts from the week following the first giveaway announcement.

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Every now and then I’ll get comments asking me why I’m sexualizing yoga. When I read comments on my friends pages, I’ll usually see the same kinds of things. Sexualizing yoga isn’t a thing. Now, sexualizing the female body. That’s a thing. And it has been for a while. So, I don’t believe that people sexualize yoga, I believe that society sexualizes the female body. It does not matter what activity I’m doing or what I am wearing or what my friends are wearing or where we are someone has something to say. I am objectified and they are objectified simply because we have breasts and a vagina. Women are sexualized for being born into a woman’s body. So I’ll say it again. Yoga is not the issue. Flexibility is not the issue. What I’m wearing is not the issue. It’s bigger than that. The perception and sexualization of the female body is core root of this issue. If what someone chooses to wear triggers you, ask yourself why? #LETSSTARTYOGA #newyork #partneryoga ______________________________________________ Yoga Mat: available through the link in my bio! Twinning with my beautiful friend @aminahtaha ???? @nathanballmusic “drifting” ????

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They went on: “You said last week you were doing weekly giveaways while in NYC, but you waited 5 days to announce last week’s and now it looks like you’ve abandoned it all together??! Even archiving the original giveaway post to hide the evidence?!

“I guess I was completely right to feel used and lied to. I used to look up to you and find so much inspiration in your posts. I would look forward to them actually.

“Now you’ve changed so much and your behavior has become incredibly ugly and number grubbing. I’m so disappointed you would walk all over us and take advantage.”

Olie replied to the follower simply saying that the winners were announced on her story, which was saved as a highlight, but the former fan, Melissa, still wasn’t happy.

“Don’t say you’re gunna do all these giveaways and then just pretend like it never happened,” she wrote back.

“It’s not a good look and makes us feel used. Like we’re just props for your lavish lifestyle.

“We gave you this life, you don’t have to give back to us, but don’t say you are going to do something kind and then act like you didn’t.”

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I️ find that I️ am able to pour my thoughts out while I’m sitting on the train, a cafe or on a plane. I’m not sure what it is that helps me write but I’m stuck in traffic and here we are. I️ usually put my AirPods in, pull up the Notes section on my phone if i don’t have my journal with me and write. It’s always been so therapeutic sifting through all of my thoughts and feelings and putting them into coherent sentences as best as I can. I️ think trust and intuition are things I find myself returning to often. Ever since I tapped back into my intuition as few years ago during my divorce I️ have valued being able to trust my gut more than anything. It’s there for a reason, always. It’s hard though still, trusting a feeling you have, it feels silly sometimes. When fear and doubt and the temptation to rationalize are so inviting. It’s hard to tune into that little voice, to be receptive to it. I’m trying every, single, day, to hold space for my intuition, but more importantly to TRUST and allow it to navigate and guide me but most of all to just to BE present in each moment and trusting that it’s exactly where I’m supposed to be. #yogaeverydamnday #yogapractice #yogalife PC: @thenellis ✨

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Olie told Buzzfeed News that the giveaways were meant to be about “giving back” to her community.

“I had planned to do multiple giveaways,” she said. “These giveaways were intended to be as a way to give back to people and my community who have shown a lot of support, not to boost engagement or followers.”

The influencer is yet to clarify how regular the giveaways will be, but told Buzzfeed “last Sunday was the first one.”

“I’m hoping to be able to do another one with a different theme this Sunday coming and have a quicker turnaround now I know the kind of volume of comments to expect,” she said.

Jessica Olie did not immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.