On July 19, Shane Dawson posted a one-hour video entitled “The Return of Eugenia Cooney,” a tribute documentary on his fellow You-Tube star’s journey toward recovery from anorexia and bulimia. With extreme care, and a warning to viewers that the video contains troubling images, Dawson’s goal with the video is not to exploit his friend, but to try and show people how to help someone who may be battling with an eating disorder.
Eugenia, the 24-year-old beauty blogger has over 1.5 million followers on You-Tube, but her scarily thin appearance was so distressing that in 2016, a petition was created on Change.org petition to have her banned from YouTube for promoting such an unhealthy image online. And while over 20K people signed it, the blogger kept up her cheery spirit and denied she had any sort of issue.
The controversy about her weight escalated as Eugenia maintained her rail-thin frame, and at one point there were four ongoing petitions for her to be removed from the Internet. Eugenia said in a video response, “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.”
As seen in Dawson’s video, after Eugenia learned how many people and friends were seriously worried for her life, during the time she appeared to be nothing but skin and bones, she broke down in tears. On January 28, the You-Tuber announced via Instagram that she’d taking a break from social media, and hasn’t posted publicly since. In February, she broke her silence, and posted on Twitter the she was seeking help from medical professionals.
Dawson has been championing her to get healthy from the get-go, and was aware of how huge it was for her to seek treatment after seven years of denying there was ever anything to worry about.
‘The Return of Eugenia Cooney’ Shows How to Help People With an Eating Disorder
In the video, Dawson asks the questions so many people have when it comes to anorexia, which is less about food, and more of how to approach a serious mental disorder. He asks how she still managed to have so much energy, and why she kept her struggles a secret for so long, and the right way to approach his friend, in fear of pushing her away, or overstepping personal boundaries. However, after seeking a medical professional’s advice, Dawson finally visits Eugenia with his concerns.
Dawson himself discusses his own past with bulimia, so he has a certain level of a care and sensitivity while speaking with Eugenia.
Eugenia Cooney Is Still in a Phase of Recovery
Eugenia is by no means healed, but she’s on the path to recovery, which is huge major step. She has identified that she does have a disorder, and is doing her best to work through it, and has the full support of her family.
It’s amazing to see Eugenia speak so openly about getting treatment, and of her stay in rehab, in which she was under strict supervision, with scheduled thrice daily meals she said, “I knew I just had to do it, follow the program, and do what I had to do. When you’re going into it, it seems like a lot. It isn’t exactly the easiest.”
However, the video ends on an emotional high point. “I think she is doing better,” Dawson said, “which is like a miracle.”