Warning: This article contains mentions of eating disorders, graphic images, and potentially triggering language.
Eugenia Cooney, a popular content creator with over 1.6 million subscribers, has been active on YouTube since 2011. Due to her thin figure, many of her viewers suspected that Cooney was battling an eating disorder. Her comment section was flooded with concern about her unhealthy weight. It got to the point that in 2016, people created a Change.org petition asking YouTube to ban Cooney from posting videos and influencing younger girls. While over 20,000 people signed it, the blogger continued to deny that she struggled with any sort of issue. She would often insist that she was just “naturally skinny,” and avoided all topics surrounding her eating habits.
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Hey guys! I’ve been offline for a while and I’m super sorry if I worried anyone!! I’ve just been taking a much needed break from the negativity and having some positive time offline. 🙂 I will be back to posting more soon!! ALSO I POSTED A KAIRI COSPLAY VIDEO!! Link in my bio if you wanna watch!! I’m so excited for KH3 tomorrow omg #kingdomhearts
Despite her followers begging Cooney to seek help, she continued to upload at least once a month until early 2019. On January 28, she announced via Instagram that she would take a break from social media. Her social media pages were inactive until February when she broke her silence on Twitter to say that she had been getting help from doctors. Fans were hopeful that Cooney would finally be on the road to recovery.
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
Since then, there hasn’t been much word about how she has been doing — until Friday when Shane Dawson, after a five-month break from his own channel, published a video about Eugenia Cooney.
On Friday, the 31-year-old posted an hour-long video entitled “The Return of Eugenia Cooney.” As of the writing of this article, the video is #1 on the YouTube Trending page and has gained over 10 million views in a matter of hours.
The video begins with a trigger warning saying that the content “contains discussion of eating disorders which may be triggering to some viewers.” Early on in the film, Dawson explains he reached out to Cooney, a friend of his, and found out that she was seeking treatment for an eating disorder. Dawson then asked her if he could document her recovery, which Cooney said yes to.
Prior to Dawson’s video, Cooney had never admitted to having an eating disorder. “Yes, I was dealing with an eating disorder,” Cooney confirms in the interview portion of the video. She does not specify which type, saying that “it was definitely like an eating disorder, but they didn’t get too label-y, if that makes sense.”
The Internet’s response has been overwhelmingly positive. Dawson’s video currently has over a million likes. Thousands of people have spoken in support of Eugenia’s recovery through both the YouTube comments section and Twitter.
eugenia cooney is literally an angel and some of y’all are just finding that out. pic.twitter.com/tvXRSblEAa
— sid (@velvetpromoter) July 19, 2019
me to the haters still hating on eugenia cooney after shane dawson’s documentary pic.twitter.com/JnSlYGCOKI
— kacey | happy birthday shane ?? (@kaceydillax_) July 19, 2019
I'M HONESTLY FUCKING CRYING,
EUGENIA IS IN FUCKING RECOVERY
I'M SO FUCKING HAPPY AND PROUD OF HER. SHE IS HONESTLY SUCH A SWEET AND BEAUTIFUL SOUL. WHAT SHE IS DOING IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT, IT'S SO HARD TO GET HELP AND FORCE YOURSELF TO HEAL WHEN YOU'RE LIKE. #eugeniacooney pic.twitter.com/vIR4iS10Ot
— Bee (@Destroylogic) July 19, 2019
me watching the shane dawson video with Eugenia cooney. So much love to be felt towards her. pic.twitter.com/pXFrBr8ey1
— angeles Quiroga (@angelesQuiroga0) July 19, 2019
eugenia cooney has come so far in her recovery and it’s absolutely amazing. hats off to her! pic.twitter.com/kUELwHiFnk
— ????? ?????? (@itschloebowron) July 19, 2019
I'm honestly crying, like I have so much respect for Shane for researching and being able to be helpful and respectful to Eugenia. Eugenia you are so brave and I am so proud of you. I love you. #ShaneDawson #eugeniacooney
— ʙᴀʙʏ ɢɪʀʟ~ (@AlexBuub) July 19, 2019
Super proud of @Eugenia_Cooney for getting help and for stay strong through all she’s been through she’s a great person and I wish her the best ???
— Johnnie Guilbert ? (@JohnnieGuilbert) July 19, 2019
An hour after Dawson posted his documentary, Cooney uploaded on her personal channel with a video titled “I’m Back.” Her video is briefer than Dawson’s at just five minutes long. In Cooney’s video, she explains that she was in a rehab program for a month and has been offline from social media during her treatment. “With the Internet — not everyone, of course, but some aspects of it can be hateful and toxic… [I] needed a break, just needed to take some time for myself,” Cooney tells her viewers. She also links Dawson’s video in her description, saying that his video goes more into detail about her story.
Cooney has been brave enough to seek out help and recover, but she still has a long way to go. Commenting about her weight/appearance could potentially trigger a relapse. Please be respectful and kind to her throughout this process.
If you suspect that yourself or a loved one has an eating disorder, call (800) 931-2237 for help. For crisis situations, you can also text “NEDA” to 741741 to be connected with someone who can support you.
Featured Image via Twitter