The role of the influencer is certainly an interesting one. You make videos of yourself and post them online. Eventually you get a following if you are consistent and entertaining enough. The theory is that anyone can do it. There are influencers in all areas, that cover some interesting and not so interesting topics. There are influencers for everyone. Once you reach a large enough audience you can basically market anything. This is primarily how these people make money.
But what if your influence isn’t about what kind of shampoo to buy or what protein powder is best but your influence is fostering an eating disorder with young women?!
Should you be allowed to continue on?
Should you be banned?
Should be have to have warnings on your content?
Should your content be age restricted?
What is your social responsibility as someone that has influence over millions of people watching your content?
Meet Eugenia Cooney.
I want to talk about Eugenia Cooney and her content.
Eugenia is a female Youtuber in her mid 20ies. I want to say 26. She is 5’6″ and last weighed in at 86 pounds.
Let that sink in.
She is visibly incredibly thin and not in the model sexy kind of way. She is thin in the SOMEONE TAKE HER TO THE HOSPITAL kind of way. She is visibly in the throws of an eating disorder.
In a video Shane Dawson did – there was conversation about having spent time in a “treatment centre” however there was never an admittance by her that she had an eating disorder or that there was something to be worried about. (Sidenote: She actually looked really healthy and pretty good on the video after her return from treatment.)
It was truthfully pretty scary that she took to the internet as soon as she returned home instead of taking care of her health and continuing to focus on her health journey.
Recently there is a petition going around to try to get her banned from social media so that she can spend time taking care of herself. Truthfully even with almost 50 000 signatures – it is unlikely that this will make a difference in social media banning her from producing content. It is clear that all she knows as a life is social media influencer. Be it Youtube or Twitch or whatever platform, she spends all of her time making content and showing off her very slender body.
The real truth is that SHE DOES NOT WANT ANY HELP (even though she desperately needs it).
Recently there has been a lot of discussion online about the decline of Eugenias’ health. There has been a resurgence of trying to get her care and a hope that collectively the audience can get her the help she needs and to see her return to a treatment centre. Back a few years ago, Jaclyn Glen put Eugenia in a situation were she was 5150’d and was forced into treatment because of her mental health. A 5150 is a 72 hours psychiatric hold that is involuntary. Once Eugenia was detained she then ended up in treatment for 6 months.
Upon her release she ended up returning to Youtube with a documentary that was orchestrated by Shawn Dawson (with the help of Kati Morton) the video seemed well intentioned but was not put together properly. It left Eugenia to pick up where she left off on social media which inevitably caused her demise and decent back into the grips of her eating disorder.
With 2.2 Million followers she is definitely someone of influence. She is absolutely showing young girls how to be and live as an anorexic. Her cosplay content showcasing her emaciated body should come with trigger warnings and be adult only content. This girl will absolutely lose her life while the world watches.
There have been so many creators try and help her out and it never works. Any type of criticism is received with the notion that people are haters. We, the people, created a world of cancel culture. And this is no different. Eugenia simply cancels anyone that makes a comment she does not like. If some one mentions her weight negatively – she calls them haters. If someone calls her anorexic – she claims she is fine. She talks in a high pitched tone and it appears the sicker she gets the higher pitched her voice becomes.
So what is the solution?
Stop watching in her content. Stop watching. Stop enabling.
Stop supporting the demise of a young woman.
I am truly not sure what the answer should be. I wouldn’t say I am an avid supporter of Eugenia because it isn’t really my interest: cosplay, Japanese animation, characters, anime in general. Just not my vibe. But the entire world is just watching her starve herself with nothing happening. It is crazy.
The truth is addiction and eating disorders are often enabled by people in your immediate life. In order for Eugenia to change there need to be a support system. It is going to be a completely new version of what her life is now, how she lives it and what it will look like without the pressures and ideals of social media. For a woman that makes all her income from being online – that is a HUGE career move. Not only does this affect her and her life but it also affects her family and their lives. It feels doubtful to me that she is NOT financially supporting her parents. So of course they would NOT be onboard to changing her career because their life suffers.
It is kind of like when kid actors get forced into more and more productions because their parents get accustoms to the money they are bringing in. Instead of saving their children’s money they start spending it. They then are requiring their children to continue to work so they can maintain their lifestyle. Selfish if you ask me – but happens all the time.
If you feel like you want to try and help … sign the petition linked here. And stop clicking on her videos.