A petition has been set up to demand that YouTube remove one of its most popular vloggers over concerns she might have an eating disorder. At the time of writing, a Change.org petition has over 16,000 signatures all pleading with YouTube to have Eugenia Cooney removed from the site over health concerns. According to her channel, Cooney, who lives in Upstate New York has nearly 1 million subscribers. Her vlogs typically deal with style and fashion tips.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Creator of the Petition Says That Cooney ‘Has a Serious Medical Condition & Needs to Seek Help’
According to ATTN, “Petitioners have expressed concern that Cooney’s thin appearance is sending a bad message to young fans.” While the creator of the petition says that Cooney “has a serious medical condition and needs to seek help.”
The creator, Lynn Cloud, adds, “She knows that she’s influencing young teenage girls into thinking being 60 lbs. is normal. It’s most definitely not. 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.”
While Cooney appeared to address the controversy in a recent video saying, “I just don’t really feel like that’s ever really a good thing to do to people, guys. If anything, the whole situation has been kind of upsetting. I’m doing OK, because I’m used to getting hate on the internet. Seeing a lot of dislikes, I just really feel like that’s not going to make anyone feel good.”
2. An April 2016 Video Had Some Viewers Wondering if Cooney Had Made an Admission About an Eating Disorder
In April 2016, Cooney was reported to have inadvertantley admitted to having an eating disorder. She says in the clip, ” “I’m just kind of naturally like that, I guess. There isn’t really a reason.” On her Ask.fm page in 2015, Cooney was asked what she ate to which she replied, “I have a disorder.”
Although when another user openly asked if she was anorexic, Cooney replied, “I don’t gain weight.” When another asked the same question, Cooney wrote, “Well in a way.”
To another question regarding her weight, Cooney says, “Yes of course I’ve seen doctors. They said I don’t gain weight no matter how much I eat.”
3. She Has Declined an Appearance on Dr. Phil to Talk About Her Weight
In Cooney’s video, where she appeared to address the controversy, she says that she declined an offer to appear on Dr. Phil to discuss her weight. A whole section of the TV doctor’s website is dedicated to those with eating disorders. Earlier in October 2016, Dr. Angie Viets wrote in a blog for the Huffington Post, asking Dr. Phil to “stop triggering people with eating disorders in an attempt to improve ratings.” Verts adds, “For the love of God, I lost count of how many times you showed those precious girls raising their shirts to show your camera crew how emaciated they are, their protruding collar bones, and rib cage. They wore the least amount of clothes allowable on network TV to highlight their fragile physical state. It was troubling the number of times they’re shown bingeing and purging in the bathroom. And then, to make matters worse, you allow their parents to discuss the girls’ dramatic weight loss in NUMBERS, including their weight prior to the onset of the eating disorder and current weight.”
4. One of Cooney’s Most Popular Videos Showed Her Mother Giving the Vlogger a Makeover
Some of Cooney’s most popular videos deal with her and her mother’s relationship. The pair appeared in one video where Cooney gave her mother a “goth” makeover, while in another, Cooney received a “preppy” makeover from her mother. One vlogger, Koda James, opined in October 2016 that Cooney’s mother may have something to do with her daughter’s weight issues.
A view of Cooney’s mother makeover videos from Little Things said, “At first glance, you might think Eugenia dark clothing, fingerless gloves, and heavy eyeliner put her at odds with her gleefully, peppy, blonde-haired mother. However, you’ll quickly notice that two have a lot of love, admiration, and respect for each other.”
Cooney grew up in Connecticut with her mother and brother, Chip.
5. Around 30 Million Americans Suffer From Eating Disorders
The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders says on their website that 30 million Americans are affected by eating disorders. The website adds that such disorders are particularly prevalent among women. The website adds, “People with negative body image have a greater likelihood of developing an eating disorder and are more likely to suffer from feelings of depression, isolation, low self-esteem, and obsessions with weight loss.”