The Heartbreaking Reason This Popular Video Blogger Quit

Photo: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images.
Anyone who has spent time on the internet knows that the comments section can be a breeding ground for negativity and hate. Unfortunately, popular blogger Anna Saccone knows this all too well.

In an emotional video posted this week, Saccone reveals that she recently took a break from YouTube after online commenters persistently called her "obese" — right after she suffered from a miscarriage. Saccone, a mother of two who has over a million subscribers and has been vlogging on the site since 2008, says that the comments made her feel like she was being kicked while she was down.

Not only that, comments like "#SaveObeseAnna" were emotionally triggering for Saccone, who has struggled with bulimia since she was 18 years old.

"Probably since I was about 12... I felt fat," she says in the video. "I always felt like I was too big [...] even though I wasn't."

When Saccone was 18, her father was diagnosed with cancer, and she subsequently felt as if her life had spiraled out of her control. "I had to control something. So what I did then was control food," she explains. "I felt like I was controlling it, but actually, it was controlling me."

But when she and her husband decided to have a family, things seemed to change for the better.

"That gave me so much purpose," she says about her first pregnancy. "I finally had something about my body that I liked, and it wasn't anything to do with me — it was this life that I was growing. So I stopped all eating disorder behaviors for the most part."

Though Saccone thought she had recovered, her eating disorder picked up again after she stopped breastfeeding her second child. That's when she knew she needed to get professional help. She describes how she often felt discouraged during her recovery, and how she eventually realized that recovery was a long, but worthy, process.

"It was a slow climb, but a steady one," she says. "And even though I couldn't see it, my therapist could."

However, beginning to recover doesn't mean she wasn't affected by negative comments.

"No matter how I felt about myself and no matter how much work I had done on my mental health, when you’re at your lowest, those comments get back into your brain and get to you," she says.

Discussing the importance of mental health, Saccone shuts down the stigma and taboos that continue to surround the issue of mental illness, telling her followers, "Don’t ever let anybody tell you that your mental health doesn’t matter, or that you’re making something up for attention, or that you’re 'not sick enough' [...] Because it is a real thing. And it’s just as real as if you get an injury on your arm or your leg and you break something."

These days, Saccone is steadily working towards recovery: "I don’t know if I’m 100% recovered," she says, "because there are some days that are worse than others. But for the most part, I would hope and say that I am. It’s still a process."

Pulling away from the negativity on YouTube seems to have worked for Saccone, but the fact that she had to take a break at all is unfair, and it sheds light on a potentially devastating issue. And Saccone is certainly not the only blogger facing this issue: Just last year, fitness blogger Cassey Ho responded to negative comments with a video shutting down her own body-shaming critics.

The bottom line is, body-shaming comments are never harmless — and it's impossible to know how or why they might affect someone, even if that someone is a popular internet personality with over a million followers.

Watch Saccone's video in full below.
It's your body. It's your summer. Enjoy them both. Check out more #TakeBackTheBeach here.

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