The Problem with Shane Dawson’s Video on Eugenia Cooney

Warning: This post contains images that some recovery warriors may find triggering.

((To watch this post: click here, or watch below…))

I’ve got to be honest, the topic of tonight’s post makes me incredibly uncomfortable.

Not because I’m irresponsibly oversharing about my virginity or my menstruation history or something…oh wait…been there, done that.

No, tonight’s I’m going to be talking about the recent documentary video by Shane Dawson about YouTuber, Eugenia Cooney.

The only reason I’m tackling this topic is because so many of you emailed me directly asking me to write about it.

So…here we go.

I want to start out by saying that, the reason I’m uncomfortable is because Shane’s video is about Eugenia’s recovery from an eating disorder. And I feel super gross about making comments or being critical about anyone else’s recovery. I equate it to like, feeding scrambled eggs to a chicken, just for the sick enjoyment of it.

So — I will not be commenting directly about her recovery per se, but rather, the documentary video itself.

Because…spoiler alert — as someone who is in their 12th year of recovery from anorexia, I definitely have some big thoughts on it.

A few months ago, I published a post called, “Watching Anorexia on YouTube” — and although I did not name outright the YouTuber I was referring to in the post, I was, in fact, talking about Eugenia Cooney.

To catch anyone up who may not know, she is a 25-year-old YouTube personality that has been causing waves for the last several years because she is so severely — visibly — anorexic. There was outrage in the online community, begging YouTube to take down her channel, because her image was so harmful and triggering, and a bad influence for young girls. I, for one, was one of those in favor of pulling her channel.

But recently in the last few months, she has — truly, praise God — begun her recovery journey. And I say “begun” — because that’s exactly where she’s at — she’s at the beginning of a life long journey. And for that, I am truly elated for her that she’s reclaiming her life, and I pray for strength and perseverance for her, as she begins this trying road.

She went to inpatient for 30 days. And in the 3 month-interim since then, YouTube mega-star, Shane Dawson, created an in-depth documentary about her, complete with a post-inpatient interview with Eugenia herself, titled, “The Return of Eugenia Cooney.” It was released last week, and since then, has garnered over 25 MILLION VIEWS.

Yes, you read that correctly – 25 million views.

I have contributed 2 of those 25,000,000 views.

Why did I watch it twice?

Well, because after the first watch, I left the viewing experience feeling so unsettled. Feeling so just…icky. There was something about the whole experience that didn’t sit right in my heart.

So I watched it again.

And this time, I could put my finger on why.

It was because it glamorized anorexia. It put a “pretty filter” on it, and completely trivialized the living hell that it actually entails.

I’m sorry, but doing a house tour and a make up tutorial with Eugenia, and then Shane making light of wanting to go to an inpatient treatment facility so he could unplug from his cell phone and eat pancakes and fries every day — it just left me shaking my head going, “What the literal fudge?”

Yes, I applaud Shane for wanting to bring light to this important and difficult topic — which, with 25M views, he certainly succeeded in that. But if he was truly trying to educate people on how to help, or how to talk to loved ones about it, or just frankly inform people about ED — he completely missed the mark. He failed. Utterly.

His approach, in my opinion, was ALL WRONG. The way in which he interacted with Eugenia — someone who is only in their 4th month of recovery and still has probably 25 pounds to gain, if I’m guessing, based on where I was 4 months in — was completely detrimental. Asking her about what she was eating, asking her about if she recognizes her changing body in the mirror, asking her about a day in the life of her eating disorder — I just can’t begin to express how those questions cause immeasurable anxiety for someone in such a fragile state.

Eugenia, God bless her, she answered with a smile, and gosh, I just saw so much of myself in her.

When I was four months in, I was hanging onto that smile for dear life. I was petrified of the new life that I had been forced to adopt, and – no shocker here – I relapsed hard at college.

Enslaved to ED // Free

But the biggest thing that I felt sick about after watching the documentary was how nonchalant, and – dare I say, romantically – they presented such a dangerous and potentially fatal mental illness.

First of all, throughout the entire documentary, Shane gratuitously included clips from her YouTube videos, that fetishized her gaunt, emaciated and truly skeletal body. After the 15th video insert, I was like, “Enough already with the skeleton “thinspo” porn!” Add to that, that the first five minutes were videos from her subscribers begging her not to die, and to get better — they were crying, and so dramatic — which sends the message to anyone struggling that, “Oh look at all the attention you’ll get when you get this dangerously sick…” Not to mention the triggering images of a glamorous — and deathly ill — young woman.

Anorexia is not glamorous. It is not at all how it was presented in the documentary. “I was still like, eating every day. But I guess it just wasn’t really that much, which for me, I guess I just kind of wasn’t really realizing that I should have been eating more.” That’s her actual quote about it.

I’m sorry, but that is not an accurate depiction of anorexia. Because you know damn well every. single. morsel of food that passes your lips. In fact, I can still tell you exactly what and exactly when I ate every day back in 2007, because those rigid food rules were strangling my life so much.

Anorexia is not just “not realizing you’re not eating enough.” It is a strangulation of mind, body and spirit by a force that you cannot overcome.

Adding to the inaccurate glamorization of the documentary, was the way her story of inpatient treatment was told.

It was presented in a way that led us to believe that one day, she finally realized that “it would be a good idea to get some help.”

Which, this is such a diminishment of that incredibly difficult and painful decision to seek treatment for an eating disorder.

Plus, this is not actually what happened with Eugenia. It is reported that her friends were so worried about her dying, that they staged an intervention. Eugenia, being a legal adult, was refusing treatment, and her mother was allegedly not interested in her getting help ((which, her mother is a completely separate topic of grave concern)). So her three friends, ended up staging an intervention with psychiatric professionals, who 5150’d her — meaning that she was involuntarily committed to psychiatric treatment as a danger to herself.

She went involuntarily. Which — sounds a lot like my own story. My family had to stage an intervention, as I too was 18 and legally an adult — and refusing to go to treatment. I didn’t have to be 5150’d, but to say there was a struggle would be the understatement of the century.

And on top of that, the documentary literally offered zero information on the harmful effects of anorexia on the body, other than, hair loss, which Eugenia claims she didn’t have. Where were the talks of early osteoporosis? The intense cardiac stress that can often lead to heart attack or death? Where was the information about infertility and loss of menstruation? Or the digestive issues, or bone loss, or diminished brain function, or growth of fine body hair on the face? Where were those, Shane? No – we were made to believe that *poof!* After just 30 days at a Four-Seasons resort-like inpatient facility, you can be completely healed and recovered from a severe eating disorder you’ve had for over a decade! All smiles here!

Next – she is not “recovered.” This is not meant to be mean. This is fact — she is beginning recovery. Recovery is a life-long journey. LIFE LONG. I am in the 12th year of my recovery, and every day, you still have to wake up and choose life. So all the comments on the video praising her that she’s recovered and so healthy and etc — it is so incredibly damaging for Eugenia to read.

Because here’s the thing…people who have never suffered from an eating disorder just cannot understand how a person in recovery or with an ED thinks. I remember my first night back from inpatient, I saw a bunch of my friends and loved ones, and they all were saying how healthy I looked, and how they were so proud of me, and how happy they were that I was better.

And this is problematic because Two-Fold: a) I would hear “you look healthy” and my mind would translate that to “you look fat.” b) Secondly, and most detrimentally, coming home from inpatient, yes — I had gained weight, but I still had about 15-20 more pounds to go. I entered inpatient at 78 pounds, so yeah, coming home, even though I was still underweight, I looked so much healthier that the emaciated skeleton that left, three months prior. And let me tell you – I was terrified of those last 15 pounds. So when I heard people say how great I looked, or how healthy I looked, in my still ED-possessed mind, I was rationalizing in my head, “Oh hey – you don’t need to gain those last 20 pounds, you’re fine now. The inpatient doctors were wrong. This underweight existence is far enough.”

And Eugenia is in that same boat. She’s still dangerously underweight. And I can only imagine what those hundreds of thousands of comments must be doing to her psyche.

Other things that just gave me the gooks about the video were how her lawyer was lurking in every scene. How she was still wearing baggy clothes, which was my biggest “tell” that I was actively in my disease. Also – the talk about her mother, who — I really hate to say things like this, but I just don’t feel settled about their relationship. The mother was helping film her videos. And she’d even be IN some of them! And this is petty, but it was just so shocking to see her mother, who’s significantly overweight, next to Eugenia who, if I had to guess was around 75 lbs, tops. And I am sad to raise the question but — was her mother was profiting from her visibly dying daughter’s eating disorder? Millions of people were watching her videos for the shock value. To fetishize her anorexia. Millions of views equates to millions of dollars. And I mean, this is all just gross speculation, but there’s just something unsettling about the whole dang thing.

This entire post has left me feeling quite sad. Sure, because of what I just watched, but mainly because, I really don’t like to be critical.

Because the fact is, Eugenia is a brave, strong, and resilient young woman who is in the fight of her life. Those first months of recovery are terrifying and she’s navigating those tumultuous waters, not only in what appears to be a non-supportive environment at home, but in front of millions of people on YouTube. So Eugenia, you go girl. Keep at it, brave warrior.

She is reclaiming her life, and recovery – no matter who you are – is a bumpy ride. And there are some good days, but there are also a lot of bad days, and a lot of days where you’re ready to throw in the towel and revert back to your disease.

People with anorexia are all really good at acting. We’re all really good at presenting a smile to the world, while the inside is absolutely combusting. And I just couldn’t help but think about that, as I watched Shane Dawson tell the world that this bubbly, beautiful girl is “all better” and “recovered.”

I want the world for Eugenia. Ever since I wrote that piece those months ago, I have continued to pray for her and her recovery every day. And praise God, it appears that she’s making progress. Truly, I am so proud of her for that hard, life changing work she’s put in. I wanted to hug her throughout the entire video, and tell her that it’s okay be a bit of a mess right now. Recovery is messy. And the sooner you realize and embrace that, the more grace you’ll be able to give yourself, and the more free you’ll be.

At the end of the day, all we can do is be there for one another. And love and support each other to the best of our abilities.

My feelings about this documentary are coming from a place of love, and admittedly: trepidation. Because – though well-meaning – I’m afraid this video did more harm than good. And in fact, is not the best way to support this brave warrior on her early journey of recovery.

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

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127 responses to “The Problem with Shane Dawson’s Video on Eugenia Cooney”

  1. I admire your honesty about anorexia. Some may not like what you have to say but if your transparency about this disease saves even one life – it’s well worth being dissed by those who don’t understand.

    • Thank you Rollie, yeah a bit of tougher tone in this one than normal, but I am so passionate about this topic. Thank you for taking the time to read. You’re right about that – it’s worth an uncomfortable conversation. Hugs and love xox

  2. Great Post, wonderfully written, insightful and expressive. I’m so grateful that Shane is on the road to recovery, ready to live her best life. 🤗🎉

  3. A lot going on here. Images? I have to say I scrolled past a couple pretty fast. The really gave me the willies!

    Regarding the issue of the mom: Ever hear of a philosophy called Occum’s Razor? It says simply that the explanation that requires the fewest assumptions is likely the right one. Apply that to your analysis of the mom, and you’ll realize you were not judging. You were evaluating, and there’s a real difference there. The first step in dealing with a literal or figurative Pile o’ Shit is to call it out for what it is. Once you get past that, things get easier very fast.

    Who in the fudge – to borrow your French – made these CHILDREN into people who deserve to have such a huge voice?!? Sorry, but they just look like little kids to me, meaning mostly the guy…what’s-his-face. He looks like a child. Your review tells me that he thinks and speaks like a child. He’s an example of someone who probably went to school but never got educated. Specifically, he doesn’t know how to reason. Why else would he put out so much information on something he knows so little about?

    OK. Best to stop ranting. I think you did your readers a real service by giving an informed review. I’m willing to bet a lot of your subscribers didn’t start at your very first entry and don’t REALLY know the hell you went through. I wouldn’t have gotten it if I hadn’t read those words written years closer to your ED hell than today. Yes, you tell us now how bad it was, but your voice is different now than it was then. Tonight’s article brought back that voice and that unvarnished explanation of what a shit-show ED and recovery really are.

    Whew! OK. Sorry. I really will stop now. Just me telling you that you done good. In my…unique…way!

    • Thanks Jeff – yeah you’re right about that – it was a shit show, not the butterfly-kissed story this video presented. But with 25 million views, clearly people are taking note. Yeah – those images were frightful. Truly. They made me literally sick to my stomach. Yeah I hated having to be critical, but it was coming from a place of love and concern for her. I hope that came across. Thanks for just being you, my friend. Hugs and love to you and your girls! Xox

      • Sorry I got heated, but that sort of behavior on his part just riles me. I admire you even-handedness despite the intense feelings I know you have. Another “Well Done” to you!

  4. Great perspective! It’s hard for people not impacted by the disease to truly understand it’s complexities and dangers. God bless you and Eugenia’s recoveries

    • Thank you so much. You’re so right about that – it is SO complex, and a 20 minute interview doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. Hugs and love xox

  5. My teenage daughter has recently mentioned Eugenia and how mad she is at Shane Dawson for using Eugenia for his own personal gain. Thank you for addressing this topic. Hopefully Eugenia can reach out to the right people at this time in her life.

    • Hi Lisa, thank you for sharing that. I agree – it was not right at all. I pray that she has supportive people around her. Hugs and love xox

  6. My response here is split between being an ordained Catholic deacon and a former print journalist. And my response is frustration with a culture that will go nuts over anything from Youtube or elsewhere, which is mindless and lacking depth (dare I say Kardashian-ish?). Too many people breathlessly watch fluff pieces like the one Dawson produced, but are not interested in engaging the fact that sometimes life can be gritty and difficult.

    If Dawson truly cared about this girl and not his own career, he would have arranged an interview with a proper journalist, or at very least given time to a medical professional so that viewers could be educated on the disorder in question. He did neither.

    I am only one voice, but in my mind, Eugenia Cooney was used. With you, I offer her my prayers, and I hope that if she appears in another video, adult supervision will be evident. Blessings, hugs and love to you for bringing all this to light. — Mike

    • I think you bring up a lot of really important points here. You’re right – I’m sure it was well meaning but you can’t ignore the glaringly obvious gain Dawson had as a stake in the video. I will join you in those important prayers. Thanks Mike. Hugs and love xox

    • Oh gosh, thank you Tonya, that really means a lot. Truly – as I’ve been searching for my purpose here recently, you have no idea how much that touches my soul. Hugs and love xox

      • Really read your Bible, specifically Joshua, and pray right now. I don’t believe the enemy has given up on you yet and is waging a war of sorts, a spark – numbing sort of war, not overt. And I believe in you and know that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. You know this to be true. Cling to that and really focus on prayer. God’s got you and loves you so much. Why I love you, for that matter. You are beautiful and His, His pride and joy and oh how He loves you. He has given you such a great voice for His kingdom. Keep up the good work and love you. “Rest (in the Lord) if you must but just don’t quit.” XO Hugs!😄❤

      • I definitely will, Tonya. Joshua it is. Thank you. Gosh, this is just so beautiful, and I’m incredibly touched. Thank you my dear friend. 🥰

  7. I have a problem with Shane Dawson period. I think he’s vulgar, obnoxious, and offensive but people seem to like that kinda thing, which is why I think he’s so popular. Is he a good role model? In my opinion, definitely not.

    • You’re right about that Hilary. Sure, maybe he produces interesting videos, but definitely not. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

      • Such a difficult post to write, I’m sure! Thank you for opening up your struggle to all of us and showing the reality of the world of anorexia. Our world is full of these hard issues and people suffering through them. When the illness or struggle or addiction is glorified, it hinders healing and growth. I truly hope and pray for the best for Eugenia…I pray God puts people in her life that will love her for who she truly is and stick with her through the hard stuff.

      • Thank you Jeanette. Yeah, I am incredibly passionate about this, so even though it was hard, it needed to be said. You’re so right – the glorification of it is so detrimental. I will join you in those important prayers. Hugs and love xox

  8. Really well contrasted post, I only managed a few minuets of the video before turning it off because I found the inserted videos to triggering. But even in those few minuets something felt unsettling with the documentary as a whole and what was being spoken about. Thank you for addressing the video and sharing some guidance on it.

    • Thanks Arabella. Yeah it was INCREDIBLY triggering, which is also one of my biggest qualms about the video. Because when you consider the audience of people who would be interested interested in watching a video about that topic matter, I’d be willing to bet that probably half of them would ALSO be incredibly triggered by such a video. Thank you for taking the time to read and I’m sorry you found it disturbing. Big big hugs to you. Xox

  9. Caralyn, I agree with Jeff, and he is so much better with words than I.
    I am so thankful for you, and your desire and heart to help persons like Eugenia. I had never heard of either one of them before, I reckon that must show the decade I am in. Anyhow, to another point in this, it certainly appears like the guy doing it, I can’t be bothered scrolling back to get his name, is a me-my-myself interest type. From what I understand here, he cared nothing about her at all, and from the one picture, I guess with her Mom, she still has a long way to go, and looks scared to me.
    My hope and prayer for her, is that she will consider her true needs, and reach out to you Caralyn, (with all your time😀 sorry), even just to chat on the phone, so she will have a real champion to look to and look up to. Also, my prayer is, she will call upon Jesus, although I have no idea her Spiritual situation, and will not judge her, but I know we all need Him, and He is always available, and will be Strength for her.
    Again, thank you Caralyn, as your heart, and Jesus within you, and Holy Spirit leading you, are willing, and do make a big difference in many lives.
    I know you, and others of your followers will be praying for Eugenia as well, so let’s claim Victory in Jesus together. 😀

    God’s Continuing Blessings Caralyn,
    Luv, 😀❤️🌹😘

    • Thank you so much George. Yeah, I pray for her situation so much. I have actually reached out to her several months ago. I think I’ll try again tomorrow. And AMEN – He is always available, and the only source of true healing. Thanks for such a beautiful response, George. There is victory in Jesus!!! 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 Hugs and love xox

      • As you reach out, I will be praying for Holy Spirit to soften her heart, so she will be receptive to you. Also praying for you, Caralyn, to hear Holy Spirit’s guiding words, as I know the Love Of Jesus will be in your voice and mannerism as you connect.

    • Thank you Lindsay. That’s the Recovery way! 🙂 thanks for taking the time to read! Hugs and love xox

    • Thanks for taking the time to read! No worries! Had I not gotten the emails about them, I wouldn’t have known either!! Hugs and love xox

  10. Funny because I saw two posts about this topic in my Reader today, but I knew that you would have the truth. Thanks you for shedding light on this topic! I agree with everything you said.
    power to the local dreamer ||-//

    • Oh gosh I’m humbled by your kind words. Thank you friend. Yeah the video is sweeping the internet for sure!! I appreciate you taking the time to read it! Hugs and love xox

  11. Wow, you make some really good points. It sounds like there are money-hungry vultures circling around this young woman trying to profit from her vulnerability. That’s truly loathsome. And eating disorders shouldn’t be glamorized, that’s for sure. I hope she has someone other than her mother in her life. Maybe a loving father or aunt or uncle? This is very alarming. I try to avoid giving unsolicited advice (she said, rather tongue-in-cheek), but I don’t think you should be watching these videos. Somehow I can intuit your completely understandable agitation and feelings of helplessness, but it’s not on you. You’ve done all this great hard work of getting better, and you want to protect her, but you can’t. I wish you could. Just trust Meg on this: you’ve got to look away, because it’s going to hurt you too much without serving much of a useful purpose. I know what you’re thinking: “I had all these loving people in my life, and she doesn’t, so I’ve got to protect her,” but aside from praying and offering her advice if she takes it, there’s just nothing else you can do. Sorry, I don’t mean to sound so dire and negative! I guess I’ve just gotten caught up in similar stuff and it hurts me too much sometimes, ya know?

    • Hi Meg, thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond. I so agree. I hope she has supportive and protective people around her. And sadly, I think you’re right. Praying hard for her. Thank you for the advice. Big big hugs xox

  12. I am so thankful to God for you, Caralyn. You are strong, brave and courageous. You continue to share your journey candidly so others can know they have an advocate and friend in you. Thank you for keeping this front and center.

    • Thank you so much Terese. What a kind thing to say. I think we are all given our stories to share with the hopes they can help one person 🙂 sending big big hugs, I appreciate you reading this xoxo

  13. Very well said! Thank you so much! I had a short period in high school where I stopped really eating. It was less than a year, and thankfully I got counseling right away. I am always so cautious about my students skipping lunch at school. I make it a point to sit and talk to them. I am a science teacher, so I always explain how the body needs fuel.
    I hate seeing stuff like this…. I am so very thankful that God has called you to help be an advocate for others. Keep up the great work!

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m glad you were able to get help from that. And wow – that is so awesome that you can be there for your students that way. They’re lucky to have you. Hugs and love xox

  14. Thankyou for being honest. It is difficult for those who have not suffered an ED to understand the process of recovery. But reading your perspective on what you felt was wrong was insightful and most of all it reminds me to be sensitive to others and be mindful of what to say ( like you mentioned about others saying you look healthy after your 3 months in inpatient, but all you felt was that I don’t need to put on anymore weight, I am fat).
    Thankyou for being brave and real.
    Blessings ❤️😊

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. You’re so right – it is a very VERY misunderstood disease and knowing how to help can be really incredibly difficult. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to read. Hugs and love xox

  15. I don’t know the person, but what you describe strikes me as narcissistic, reinforcing her disease with another type of sickness, to say the least. I think to be serious about recovery, one must devote one’s entire self to it. One doesn’t have time for videos, One has the hard work of recovery to do and humility to embrace. I would think. you are right that at four months one is just beginning the life-long struggle of recovery, because the mind changes, along with many other unwelcome physiological changes., as you have detailed. That’s what makes anorexia so dangerous. I will pray for this girl, that she truly gets the help that she needs. With 25 million views, there is some unhealthy viewing going on there. Voyeurism combined with the wrong kind of reinforcement for those in the grip of the disease. I think you’re on the right path in the way you have treated this subject. God bless you.

    • Yeah it was really sad to watch. I am happy for her that she appears to be making progress in recovery, but it pains me to think that people are trying to profit from her pain. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this. I will join you in those prayers. Hugs and love xox

  16. What’s weird is that there are so many obese people in this country, and it’s a serious health problem for them. There are millions more on their way, including lots of younger folks. Yet, it’s forbidden to “shame” as Macy’s etc learned with those plates (which I found funny, sue me). People shame the thin though, when they aren’t envying us, right? And they did then too ~ you know what I mean? In 1976, when I weighed 87 pounds, there were girls who were envious. (I remember what I ate then too.) That’s why all this is so scary… they shame, they envy, and a few may model/compete. I myself at age 58, never properly treated, feel a stab of competition at times knowing that some were able to lose more. I know. I know.

    • You’re right about that Paula. I was going to write about the plates tonight but opted for this story instead. Gosh, thank you for sharing your story. I definitely have lived through what you describe. Your strength is inspiring and I love you, dear warrior. Sending all my love xox

  17. I tried to watch it, but couldn’t… she’s surrounded by vultures literally picking at her bones. It’s sickening and sad.

    Excellent post. I agree completely with you

    • You’re so right about that – it is so incredibly tragic. I pray for her that she has people in her life that are willing to step up and protect her. Her three friends who staged the intervention did, but they have been pushed out of her of life as a result. So sad. Hugs and love xox

  18. Thank you so much for posting your reaction and analysis of the ‘documentary.’ I’ve never been formally diagnosed with an ED, but I’ve had my own struggles with body image and weight since my sophomore year in college. In all honesty, I too was put off with the way Shane addressed the topic and issues at hand, especially when discussing inpatient treatment and facilities for persons with EDs. I was especially dumbfounded at his willingness to insert and make jokes that denigrated his own weight and personal body image perceptions to Eugenia, despite the fact that he knew very well the very early stages of the recovery journey she was in. To me, it seemed as though he was trying to sound relatable to Eugenia, but that’s not appropriate at all because, to me at least, it has effect of normalizing the same behaviors and thought processes that Eugenia is being treated for. It made me wonder what the point was of bringing in the clinical psychologist, Kati Morton, to weigh in on how he should approach the subject because, as you mentioned, he ended up going about it the wrong way. I was just filled with sadness and disappointed that, once again, serious mental and physical health disorders are being trivialized and profited off from (assuming that the video is generating ad revenue). *sigh*

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story. You’re so right – it was off putting the way he handled it. I get that he was trying to relate to her and put her at ease, but it ended up coming off in such poor taste. And so true — plus – Kati Morton herself is a highly controversial professional who has been in lots and LOTS of YouTube videos with – frankly questionable and borderline unethical content. I agree. Sigh worthy indeed. I appreciate you taking the time to read this. Big big hugs to you xox

  19. I feel that sharing your insights on this is important and you do it sensitively. I agree that fetishising the anorexic is unhelpful for them or the rest of us

    • Thank you so much for your support. Yeah we need to see it as the mental illness it is, and help these people get professional help – not fetishized or glamorize it. Hugs and love xox

  20. Excellent post BB, clear, consise and honest facts with no condemnation. Your courage to speak up when when serious issues need serious comment, astounds me. God Bless.

    • Thank you friend. I appreciate you saying that, because I really was not wanting to condemn. Just speak out against something that unsettled my heart. Hugs and love xox

    • Thanks Kaley, I’m so glad you thought the same. So many problems with the video. Her story could be used to help people for sure – but this video was not it. I appreciate you taking the time to read it. Hugs and love xox

  21. Love your post, I honestly couldn’t finish watching the video. I wasn’t sure why or how to put it into words. You did it so beautifully. The whole video felt so obnoxious and totally just took in a direction that I didn’t like.

    • Thank you Namnam – I agree the video was truly hard to stomach with all the shock-value footage of her in her disease. One video clip – okay I get it. But 60 minutes of clip after clip – it was just awful. AWFUL. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond. Hugs and love xox

  22. Wow, wow, I am overwhelmed by your words, my dear friend – you have deeply touched my heart. I could follow your words and explanations, your warnings, your compassion, your love in your words for Eugenia, explaining your own experiences with this disease like if I had made a journey to someone*s life – uff, tears are running from my eyes. I could feel your feelings in some kind of way and what you went through, what Eugenia has to go through and still is going through – yours and her fight to live between life and death. I also feel to embrace you both strongly now. However, the strongest friend at your side is Christ that gave you the courage to survive (maybe not in all those suffering times – as you wrote yourself: that in this condition you are a great actor as well, to hide the truth, to face the truth – in this condition even Christ was hidden) – sometimes it seems that we have to go down very deeply to wake up from a nightmare, to make us aware in which situation we are: then there is the last decision: life or death – how many cannot make it, because they do not have this golden anchor Christ as a friend or father? I love you, my friend, for being so honest in your words and that you wrote everything with the ink of your heart. You found the way out from the darkest time of your life – but it is necessary to follow a strict path, which does not allow you to fall. May also all people who suffer from this mental disease come out of this devil`s clutch. May God help them all. My friend, keep this gratitude for Christ always in your heart – it is a strong shield against all dark thoughts.

    In thankfulness for your sharing the essence of your life with me
    Hugs and love

    • Hi Didi, thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond. Yeah, I feel so passionate about this, for sure, and I just pray that she has people in her life that are trying to protect her. Amen – Christ is our strongest friend and He is ALWAYS right next to us. Praise God for that and praise God for His healing power in my life. I will join you in that powerful prayer. Hugs and love xox

      • Yes, we need to think positively – if we think God is away, away He is, but when we think is always with us – He is indeed with us – always – as we think, we become. Our positive thoughts can bring us on the right track. Doubts are harmful – they divide and separate – they separate our attention. With One attention (full attention) all is possible…

        Thank you my dear friend and have a great day.
        Love and light to you

      • Amen to that – One attention, all is possible! Have a great day too! Hugs and love xox

  23. Glad you called this out! I watched some of this and it made me uneasy. I had to quit watching when he asked “what were you eating,” when the ED specialist they brought in to help with this video specifically told him not to ask that. Felt to me like he was exploiting her for views; I don’t see how that video was beneficial to anyone.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to read. I know – it made me sick that he asked her such detrimental questions. Sick. I agree. I pray that she has someone in her life that truly wants to protect her. Hugs and love xox

    • Thanks friend – yeah it was so sad to see how the video turned out. Thank you for your prayers. I will join you in them!! Hugs and love xox

    • Thanks Ted, I appreciate that. Thanks for taking the time to read. Hugs and love xox

  24. I just found out who Shane was yesterday, and I had never before heard of Eugenia. I have to really shake my head and wonder what is going on in the social media world. This girl was deathly ill, and yet she was doing a show on YouTube, with her mother filming! What a cry for help this girl was giving. I’m so glad she is getting the help she needs, but she will need a supportive community around her. I hope her mother can rise to the occasion. I’m not sure what Shane can offer in the way of support, but I do hope YouTubers don’t take advantage of her situation for their own glory. Thank you so much for sharing this and sharing your personal stories. I hope that Eugenia reads them.

    • Thanks Diane, yeah it was just baffling that YouTube did not step in. Or at least SOMEONE in her life. I’m glad she’s getting help too. Praying for her. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Hugs and love xox

  25. Shane will do anything for attention. This video was recommended for me to watch on YouTube, but just those two words – Shane Dawson – turned me off so I’m glad you covered it.

    • Thanks Diana, I think you’re right about that. And sadly, it was at the price of this fighting warrior’s expense. Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you friend. Yeah it just saddens me that 26 million people are drinking this koolaid about this grave mental health condition. Hugs and love xox

  26. I was so discouraged to watch this “documentary” as well. First I was so excited that she is making a recovery but when I watched it, I felt so disappointed…. that she is not in a place of recovery and still seems to be in denial. When her friends made the video it was even sadder & the fact that her own mother was hindering her recovery. Overall very sad indeed.

    • Thanks friend – yeah I was incredibly disappointed too. Because there was SUCH an opportunity here to truly raise awareness and do good. But unfortunately it did not turn out that way. Hugs and love xox

  27. I admire your strength and your insight. I completely agree with you- anorexia is not to be glamorized but to be recognized as a disease that is so crippling. We can only pray for those struggling and pray society’s perception of it will change to the truth- that it is not something to be glamorized but an awful disease that a person can only be free by choosing to be free and knowing who they are is enough. 💛

    • Thanks so much. You’re so right – and there is power I. Prayer. I agree – definitely not something to be glamorized or exploited. Hugs and love xox

  28. I felt the same way when I saw the thumbnail; I won’t support him by watching it.
    I had an eating disorder for years and it was so shameful when someone accused me of not eating. Shame on him and the culture that encourages it.

    • Thanks Emily – that’s a great stand to stake, and j applaud you in boycotting the video. Thank you for sharing your story. You’re so right right – His exploitation of her biggest trial is absolutely disgusting. Hugs and love xox

  29. and let it be said… posts like this is why I follow you, thanks, I knew nothing about eating disorders, I mean I know the usual “things” but never had anyone in my life with it… and it is not just that, as you know it translates beyond that, we all have, ok, some of us (most) have our own anchors we have to shed, it manifests in various forms, and maybe we all think “why is this happening to ME”… when it is happening to many many people and has for time immemorial… I think the documentary shows the old adage that good intentions pave the road.. to some really hot place… I understand your passion and rage over this, maybe at least some attention is better than none and people will find your addendum to the whole experience… or maybe you should contact Eugenia for a follow up series (of course some will scream you are looking for attention – who cares if it is for the common good), something monthly, kind of like comedians in cars getting coffee, except maybe anorexics on bicycles getting coffee cake (forgive the pun, I must admit my gallows humor at times). thanks for the space, and making me think, which is why I typed.

    • Thanks so much David, for saying that. I think you’re right – good intentions pave the toad. I do think that Shane had his heart in the right place – at least I hope – but that his execution was just wrong. I would love to get in contact with Eugenia. I’m going to try reaching out on Monday. Haha i like the pun 🙂 I appreciate you reflecting on this, for reading it, and taking the time to respond so eloquently! Have a great weekend! Hugs and love xox

  30. After watching the video, and if it is true Eugenia asked Shane to do this video because she wanted to let people see what was going on with herself and hopefully inspire others to get help, I don’t see it as exploitive. Shane has his own personal history struggling with an eating disorder as well as body dysmorphia. He also, as many people do, uses humor (at times inappropriately) to mask painful or uncomfortable situations. He did post in the description of the video as well as at the beginning of the video warnings of possible triggers.
    He was happy Eugenia was getting help, but I never saw that he felt she was “recovered”. It is an ongoing journey, and each journey is different for each individual. Her struggles before, during and after an intervention/ongoing therapy may not mirror others who fight the same battle.
    Shane and Eugenia both opened a dialogue with that video. It may not be perfect, but it got people talking, and maybe, just maybe, it’ll help save someone, even in its imperfection. JMHO

    • Thank you Lisa for sharing your thoughts about this. I agree – if Eugenia wanted him to do the video, it’s a horse of a different color. I hope that it does inspire conversation about it. That would be a victory for sure. Thanks again for taking the time to watch and read it! Big hugs to you xox

    • Thanks Jennifer, I will definitely join you in that prayer! Hugs and love xox

  31. I know I’ve already shared your video on twitter, etc. But it can’t be said enough. Eugenia needs someone like you to talk to rather than Shane Dawson. Have you spoken to Eugenia personally? She needs to know the struggles that she will have to go through in the coming future.
    Shane has been through his own mental issues so he’s not completely unaware. However his approach to the video has been complete wrong. No proper education making light of the issue is completely wrong.. While the intentions may have been in the right place, the actions weren’t. Many a lives have been ruined by good intentions.
    Perhaps his video has been screened by her lawyer. I don’t know how or why her lawyer was there in the first place. Maybe it is for media control.

    • Thanks so much, I have spoken with her. I would honestly love to. Yeah – I know his heart was in the right place but it was just executed insensitively. Who knows. Glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox

    • Thanks so much 🙂 I appreciate your kind words and for taking the time to read it!! Hugs and love xox

  32. Hmm this video is so wrong and humiliating this poor girl. It all has to do with the sick, godless and dark society that make’s one illness a big joke for big money which is not funny at all whatsoever. We need to speak the truth in love and stop trying to sugar coat darkness. These people are making a mockery of this young woman’s current disorder she’s battling with. I’m very displeased with this and I’m glad you are bold enough to speak out against it. I’ll keep her in my prayers. She too will overcome as you did through Christ. Blessings & peace. 🙂

  33. Thank you, thank you. It is amazing to me how those in media, even those with personal experience in these difficult, controversial issues, seem to glamorize and romanticize the bad stuff. We all need to continue prayer coverage for Eugenia, as you state, recovery is a lifetime process and one that is terribly difficult, even with the best of support. You would be a good mentor in this field, Caralyn, have you thought about doing that?

    • Hi Mindy! thank you so much for your heartfelt response. You’re so right — we need to continue to pray for her! because it’s true – recovery is life long. And gosh, what a kind thing to say – I actually have thought about offering mentoring services through my blog, but I didn’t feel that I was qualified, as I am not a medical doctor or therapist. But it definitely has been put on my heart before. Thanks so much for the encouragement 🙂 big big hugs xo

  34. Your message is heartfelt and shows genuine concern for her well being. 🙂 Thanks for writing it. It is important to say what we think, with God setting the tone of love.

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