Three years ago, over 20,000 people signed a petition to have her bannded from YouTube.
Last year, GOOD published a story on Eugenia Cooney, the 24-year-old seriously underweight beauty blogger with over 1.5 million followers on YouTube.
Cooney denies that she has an eating disorder, but it’s nearly impossible to look at photos of her and think otherwise. Not only does it appear as though she is seriously unhealthy, but she also presents a dangerous example of “beauty” to her countless fans.
New dress! pic.twitter.com/LPGA0XMjn6— Eugenia Cooney (@Eugenia_Cooney) January 2, 2019\n
I never say things like this, but I'd like everyone to say a prayer for Eugenia Cooney. I hope she's really getting help. I hope that help is with ED specialists. I hope her body can handle recovery. I hope she can become her own person, embrace health, & blossom. pic.twitter.com/W0zyo6BaDx— Það var björn á Íslandi (@aBearwhoWrites) March 4, 2019\n
Her situation was so distressing that in 2016, Lynn Cloud created a Change.org petition to have her banned from YouTube for being an unhealthy influence on young girls. Over 20,000 people signed the petition.
“She knows that she’s influencing young teenage girls into thinking being 60 lbs. is normal. It’s most definitely not,” she told Attn:. “Ever since she has moved out of her mother’s house recently, she has been getting skinnier and skinnier. This clearly isn’t a ‘high metabolism’ or any other type of losing body weight uncontrollably condition.”
Cooney addressed the controversy by dodging the issue. “Some people are saying I’m like a bad influence on girls. I just want you guys to know like I have seriously never have tried to be a bad influence on YouTube or to influence anyone badly, she said. “I would never want to do that. I have never told anyone to try to like lose weight or to try to like change the way they look or to look like me.”
Whether Cooney will admit it or not, her appearance has had a dangerous effect on many young people who idolize her as a “thinspiration.”
sometimes i just freak out because i dont know what i look like is my face really this round am i really too thin because all i see are the rolls of my leggings the nonexistent chestbones the nonexistent concave stomach its awful but i want to be as thin as eugenia cooney— shizUKE tw (@nathanvalanski) February 2, 2019\n
I want to be Eugenia cooney skinny but maybe some other time— . (@0cal_greentea) October 19, 2018\n
Eugenia Cooney is one of my thinspos but I don't have an ED. I would love to be that size especially since I'm 40+ and a guy, and people say it's ugly. I want to be ugly skinny so bad.— DJSquirrel (@esotericsqrl) February 9, 2019\n
After a brief break from social media in January led to rumors of her death, she returned with a post saying she was taking a “much-needed break from the negativity.”
Hey guys! I've been offline for a while and I'm sooo sorry if I worried anyone! That was not my intention at all. I've just been taken a much needed break from the negativity and having some positive time offline. I'll be back soon! :)— Eugenia Cooney (@Eugenia_Cooney) January 28, 2019\n
Two weeks later, she tweeted that she was is getting the help she desperately needs, saying she’s “taking a break from social media and voluntarily working with my doctor privately.”
Hi guys! I appreciate the concern. I’m taking a break from social media and voluntarily working on this with my doctor privately. Please respect that. pic.twitter.com/Wyqjo16xdH— Eugenia Cooney (@Eugenia_Cooney) February 10, 2019\n
Her worried fans responded with an outpouring of love.
I’m so happy to hear this Eugenia!! We all love you— st. patricks dre (@DreRonayne) February 11, 2019\n
I’m proud of you, I wish you the best with your recovery!take all the time you need, you got this!!— Courtney (@punkprinc3ss1) February 11, 2019\n
I almost cried of happiness reading this. You are amazing. I’m so so so happy you’re finally ready to acknowledge and fight the demons you’ve been battling. Much love Eugenia with whatever you’re dealing with. We love and support you— daddy chill (@crowmami) February 10, 2019\n
Time will tell if Cooney is able to overcome her serious health issue. But by taking steps to acknowledge her problem and seeking help she’s setting a good example for her fans. Hopefully, when she returns to YouTube, she’s healthy and can share the dangers of being excessively thin with her followers.
If you or someone you love is suffering from an eating disorder and looking for support, resources or treatment options, call the NEDA helpline at (800) 931-2237.