Eating disorder: any of various disorders, as anorexia nervosa or bulimia, characterized by severe disturbances in eating habits.
It's a triggering topic, but it's one that isn't talked about enough. It's also a disorder that isn't as black and white as some other mental disorders are. Eating disorders range from binge eating to not eating enough, and image issues.
Shane Dawson has never been shy about his mental illnesses on the internet, and two of them include bulimic-like symptoms and body dysmorphia. On July 19th, he tackled it head-on with Eugenia Cooney. Eugenia Cooney has been a public figure on the internet since around 2013 and has appeared to become thinner throughout the years. So thin, in fact, that viewers could see her bone structure. For years she had denied she had an eating disorder, which may have been true until recently. In January of this year, she told the internet she was taking a break from the internet to better her health and go to rehab, and Shane Dawson was there to help her come back.
What was clear from early on video is no two eating disorders are alike. Dawson brought in Kati Morton, a licensed therapist specialized in eating disorders, to discuss how people with eating disorders act. She gave Dawson advice on how to speak to a person recovering from an eating disorder and how they react to particular commentary. Dawson immediately felt bad because he had already commented on how Cooney "looked good," but Morton reassured him he only meant well. Instead of commentating on how they physically look, she suggested commentating on their character. Morton also describes rehab as she had previously worked in inpatient care. She gives insight, as does Cooney, on what the recovery process entails. She explains more in detail in Dawson's video.
Dawson met with Eugenia Cooney and of course interviewed her about her eating disorder, rehab, and recovery process. However, in classic Shane Dawson fashion, got to know her as one of the kindest people who loves makeup and fashion. He made it clear to viewers, as did Cooney, that people with eating disorders cannot define themselves as that eating disorder. They are a person, and that never changes, only the appetite does.
Dawson brought an incredibly sensitive topic to the surface, and he was able to use his platform to educate thousands, most likely millions, about a mental illness that is often under minded. It's not as easy as "eat a burger." It's not as simple as saying, "you look great, don't be so hard on yourself." He and Cooney were able to educate people while also making people laugh in the process, and for that, the mentally ill community is grateful.