Eugenia Cooney’s Eating Disorder and Controversy Explained
Trigger Warning: Eating disorder, body dysmorphia, and anorexia. Reach out to the National Eating Disorders Foundation (1-800-931-2237) if you or anyone you know suffer from these disorders.
There are thousands of YouTubers with massive followings as well as haters. However, especially nowadays, with YouTube’s ever-changing rules, a question lingers — should some creators be de-platformed?
De-platforming means removing a creator and their channel from YouTube permanently because of the content they make and the beliefs they hold. Currently, people are coming together to de-platform Eugenia Cooney, a YouTuber who has been uploading videos since 2011.
The pressure for de-platforming Cooney has been increasing so much that people are signing petitions to remove her from YouTube as soon as possible.
This is because she has been the focus of public curiosity for years because of one reason — she is severely underweight and appears to be suffering from an eating disorder.
Eugenia Cooney and Eating Disorder
Cooney is a polarizing figure who has made the public worry over her health since 2015. Her extreme underweight has drawn much attention, with fans speculating that she has a severe eating issue, presumably anorexia.
The concerns for her health have significantly risen since 2018. As a result, more people tune in to watch her videos and live streams to check how she is doing.
In 2019, the YouTuber took a break from social media and joined a treatment program, only to resurface months later as the topic of a Shane Dawson documentary. The documentary was the first time she acknowledged having had an eating disorder.
Cooney was originally commended for publicly discussing her mental health concerns after Dawson's video went viral. Nonetheless, she was quickly chastised online for appearing to have relapsed.
Along with Shane Dawson, Cooney has been observed by many prominent YouTubers like PewDiePie, Ethan Klein, Keemstar, and Trisha Paytas. Many of her YouTuber friends forced her into rehab to get on the path to recovery.
Fellow YouTubers Jaclyn Glenn, David Michael Frank, and Evangeline DeMuro approached Cooney under the pretext of meeting to go to an escape room before forcing her into a 72-hour involuntary commitment.
Cooney subsequently claimed that she felt deceived by them, claiming that they had not talked to her face to face about their worries. However, in a video released immediately after Dawson's, Glenn, Frank, and DeMuro disputed Cooney's narrative.
They stated that they had attempted several times to speak with her about her condition and that the 72-hour involuntary commitment was their final choice.
They also claimed that Cooney’s mother, Debra, was abusive, so Cooney could not recover. Unfortunately, this is also a common belief amongst Cooney’s fanbase.
As of 2021, Cooney is attracting even more attention and criticism than before. While she has few admirers who care about her, most of her followers are toxic and have proved dangerous to her.
Cooney met with the Greenwich police department after an anonymous emergency call indicating she was "about to die" from a heart attack in May 2021.
Unfortunately, the police have also received several additional anonymous calls seeking welfare checks on her. Currently, the topic of de-platforming is revolving around Cooney and her viewers.
Should Eugenia Cooney Be De-Platformed?
While Cooney's content never advocated for anorexia, they fell into a murky area where they might be exploited by individuals who aspired to appear like her. As a result, many viewers of Cooney claim she encourages eating disorders to her young audience.
Similarly, she has also been a prominent person in online pro-anorexia forums, and people with eating disorders are using her as "thinspiration."
Cooney's catering to eating disorder fetishists has spawned many conspiracy theories on message boards dedicated to her. As a result, several petitions to delete or restrict Cooney's content have been launched throughout her career, but none has been successful.
The most recent petition, which has gathered over 52,000 signatures thus far, asks YouTube, Twitter, Twitch, and Instagram to temporarily suspend her accounts so that she can get the help she needs.
However, a question arises — is Cooney really promoting eating disorders, or is it just mass speculation? Her content does not fall into this category, and the messaging is very impartial.
Her critics believe her displaying her physique and collarbones in her videos and thumbnails promotes eating disorders because of how they look.
Therefore, moderation of her posts on social media based only on her looks might be anti-body-positive and discriminatory. On the other hand, commentary videos on her are frequently demonetized or banned due to "sensitive" material.
Insider dug deep into this issue and talked with YouTube and Instagram. They said that Cooney’s content does not violate any rules or regulations on their platform.
Moreover, Todd Grande, Ph.D., a certified professional counselor in mental health, noted that Cooney had done nothing illegal. Therefore, he implied that removing her from the platform might not be a correct move for platforms like YouTube.
While many comments on Cooney's videos urge her to seek treatment, and the petition is motivated by compassion for Cooney, they may cause more damage than good.
The issue revolving around Cooney, her health, and her mental wellbeing has been debated many times. But, unfortunately, nothing has been done to date.