Jessica Ellis
December 05, 2015 12:12 pm

The Internet is a place where we can carefully craft an image of ourselves as we’d like to be seen: more popular, conventionally beautiful, and hilarious than we are in everyday life. Ourselves at our best moments only. Perfection by filters.

Youtube and Instagram star Courtney Sailors lived off this type of image for years, gaining thousands of followers with her silly and fun videos where she’d dress up like a unicorn and engage in good-natured shenanigans.  Yet even the perfect image she created didn’t quite meet viewer expectations; fans began to comment on her thinning hair and increasing frailty. After one video on working out, the comments got real, and hurtful. “She looks a little bit unhealthy x: like way too skinny <.<,” one viewer said, while others asked about the veins on her arms and why she was so thin.

Courtney made a brave decision to break her own, cheerier-than-thou persona and use her platform to talk about her lifelong struggle. In a video called “MY EATING DISORDER,” Sailors admits that she’s struggled with anorexia and other eating disorders for her whole life. “I honestly, truly believe I was born with this,” Courtney admits in the video, citing her mother’s death as a trigger for her problems truly manifesting.

Luckily for Courtney, her audience was largely supportive of her move from delightful silliness guru to more serious topics. Inspired and determined to be a role model, she began putting out more and more videos talking about her struggles, including her problems with trichotillomania, a compulsion to pull out her hair. The result? A bigger audience than ever.

Infusing total honesty about this exhausting fight with glimmers of her trademark humor, songs, and silly stunts, Courtney has become an important voice in the eating disorder community. She’s a stand-out against reductive stereotypes that turn people with mental health disorders into stereotypes. In this all-too perfected world we live in online, she serves as an incredible reminder that you can be funny, happy, silly, and broken, struggling, and exhausted, all at the same time.

Check out the video that started it all below:

(Image via YouTube)

Advertisement