Food blogger Deliciously Ella: I felt betrayed by 'cancer' fraud Belle Gibson (Healing Belle)
The Australian blogger who lied about having cancer is a sad exception in a wonderful community of healthy-food bloggers. Don't let her put you off a healthy lifestyle.
I was a huge fan of Belle Gibson – I followed her on Instagram and loved her whole philosophy around healthy living. I also had her app, The Whole Pantry, and recommended it to everyone. I really admired what she was all about – I found her posts so inspiring.
She seemed to have a very positive attitude to life, which was infectious, and I felt she was a wonderful member of the healthy-eating blogging community as she seemed to really motivate her followers to make positive changes to their lives. Her approach to wellness felt young, fresh and balanced, which is why I think she was so popular.
A few weeks ago I realised that I hadn’t seen anything on her Instagram for a while so I went to check it, found it was blank and then panicked that something awful had happened to her. She had recently posted that her brain cancer had spread throughout her body – when I originally read that post I cried; I thought life was so unfair to deal something so awful to someone so kind and caring.
A quick Google later, though, and I discovered that the whole story was a lie: she hadn’t in fact had cancer and she certainly didn’t just have months to live. I honestly felt really, incredibly betrayed: I didn’t know her personally but I had followed her journey and spent a lot of time thinking about her. More than anything I was shocked that she had conned hundreds of thousands of people.
I’d read so many beautiful messages on her account from people praying for her, crying over her and generally taking time to send her positive, loving energy.
There is something positive in the fact that she inspired lots of people to live a healthier life and I’m sure that there are people out there who feel happier and healthier as a result. However, she took advantage of human kindness for her own gain, which absolutely goes against the whole concept of living a happy, healthy life – a life in which I feel being honest and authentic are pretty essential.
From a personal perspective I think it’s such a shame that this dishonesty sheds a bad light on such a great industry. Belle was a sad exception in a world of amazing people – there are some really incredible individuals working to change our attitudes towards food and lifestyle and we shouldn’t let one person diminish our view of everyone else in the wellness space.
Healthy living isn’t a sham and food really can help heal and nourish the body, so more than anything I hope that Belle’s deception doesn’t put people off making healthy choices or stop them from believing in the good that other people do.