“When you’re at your weakest, those comments will get to you”
Bullying has found its place among our culture. Despite efforts to lessen the prevalence of bullying in its many forms, it has only become more commonplace with the rising influence of social media and online communities. We’ve seen the effects of bullying across news headlines reporting tragic events that result from ceaseless harassment, and one area in which cyberbullying, specifically, has taken hold is among the blogging community.
Now, YouTube blogger Anna Saccone is speaking out against the Internet trolls that have bombarded her video gallery with hateful, body-shaming commentary. In a 28-minute testimonial uploaded to her YouTube page, Saccone opens up to her million-plus subscribers about her decision to go on a hiatus from vlogging to mentally recover from the relentless online attacks.
In the lengthy video, the young blogger shares her struggle with bulimia, one she has battled since she was a teenager and intermittently between pregnancies with her first two children. She explains how becoming a mother and tending to the needs of her children gave her a purpose, something she felt void of in the midst of battling her eating disorder.
She says, “I finally had something about my body that I liked. And it wasn’t anything to do with me; it was this life that I was growing.” When her children, Emilia and Eduardo, were past their respective breastfeeding stages, Saccone explains how she would suddenly feel as though she had no purpose, ultimately sending her back into unhealthy habits.
She explains, “That’s the thing about an eating disorder: No matter how thin you get, it will rob you of that feeling like you’ve achieved something, or feeling of satisfaction.”
Not long before the YouTube community began attacking Saccone, she was vocal with followers about the miscarriage of her third child at just 11 weeks. It was then the lifestyle blogger decided to take her loss and turn it into an opportunity to not only help herself but also her fans by hiring a personal trainer to curate a six-week workout series. Ironically, it was then fans began berating Saccone with negative comments pertaining to her weight, even going so far as to create a hashtag, #SaveObeseAnna, which played a part in sending the mother of two over the edge.
Saccone says, “When you’re at your weakest, those comments will get to you.” When the harassment reached its peak, the blogger found herself falling back into old habits, finally realizing it was time to walk away from the community in order to save her mental health, for both herself and her family.
Following her hiatus, Saccone came back to the YouTube community with a renewed sense of self and a strong message for her followers: “Don’t let anyone ever tell you that your mental health doesn’t matter.” Watch the full video in which Saccone delivers this important message above.