Vlogger Eugenia Cooney has been forced to defend herself against a petition which demanded she be banned from YouTube for encouraging anorexia.
Despite never admitting to having an eating disorder, the 22-year-old New Yorker has been heavily criticised in recent weeks for her strikingly low weight as thousands of her followers believe her tiny frame could drive fans to towards extreme weight loss tactics.
In a recent post – which is entitled “I’m Sorry” – the self-proclaimed “emo” addressed the claims by insisting she has “never tried to influence anyone badly” and has “never encourage[d] people to try look like [her]”.
A number of petitions on Change.org ask for the popular blogger – who has almost one million followers – to be temporarily removed from YouTube until she gets help for her alleged condition.
One such proposal received almost 20,000 signatures before it was removed on Friday.
The petition read: “Eugenia Cooney has a serious medical condition and needs to seek help. She has been influencing her viewers by her serious underweight condition.”
“She has not been getting better since the day she started YouTube, she’s getting more and more sick each day. And it’s honestly like she does this bodily harm to herself and shows young girls, such as her viewers on social media that it is ‘okay’, to be suffering from a medical condition such as Anorexia-Nervosa (sic).”
“She has not got any treatment. And is triggering her fan base,” the post alleged. “She may not be intentionally influencing her viewers, but showing more than 50 percent of her body in her videos and pictures is not helping girls with Anorexia or any eating disorder.”
Eugenia has been the focus of a number of hateful YouTube videos which encourage people to dislike her videos and suggest she is “slowly killing herself”.