The 10-year journey that led YouTube star Eugenia Cooney become one of the most polarizing figures on the internet

The backlash against her is louder than ever, and very occasionally she shares how it really affects her

Eugenia Cooney / Twitch

Cooney, who is now coming up to her 27th birthday, has continued her internet schedule of streaming games on Twitch and uploading the occasional YouTube video. But she is constantly questioned about her health on her Twitch streams, which often go on for eight or more hours, during which she rarely even drinks water. Her answer is always that she is fine and healthy, and the audience has nothing to worry about.

Some long-standing fans of Cooney noticed that somewhere along the line, the girl with the dry humor and fun-loving attitude started to vanish. Her voice is a lot higher than it used to be, and she has stopped opening up about her life. She smiles almost constantly, and preaches happiness and light on streams, appearing to be oblivious to the majority of criticism going on in the background. 

Now, Cooney’s videos have a staggering thumbs up to thumbs down ratio — often receiving three times as many dislikes as likes. The messages of support and sadness, and wishes of her recovery, have been replaced with anger and disgust at the assumption Cooney wants to remain sick, and “knows what she is doing” when she shows her collar bone in her video’s thumbnails, or stands up during a livestream to show off her outfit.

The criticism rarely deters her, and she continues to post seemingly unaware of the barrage of comments pleading with her to seek help. However, during one Twitch stream in April 2021, Cooney broke down in tears because she felt attacked by her followers.

She said she didn’t know why her followers felt they were owed an explanation about her time in rehab and begged them not to ask her anymore. It was a rare glimpse of what lies underneath Cooney’s shiny, happy demeanor, and revealed how being under constant scrutiny has been affecting her.

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