Style Style Talk

Friday 26 May 2017

Cosmopolitan magazine under fire for framing cancer story as weight loss inspiration

Cosmopolitan magazine has come under fire for framing a cancer story as a weight loss article
Cosmopolitan magazine has come under fire for framing a cancer story as a weight loss article

Sasha Brady

Cosmopolitan magazine has come under criticism from readers for framing a cancer story as a weight loss inspiration.

On Monday, the magazine caused outrage when it posted a tweet: "How this woman lost 44 pounds without *any* exercise."

The tweet featured a photo of Australian fitness Instagram star Simone Harbinson in a pink lace-up crop top and had the lighthearted tone of a weight loss article.

But readers who clicked on the link were shocked to discover the article profiled a woman whose body image improved after she went through a series of health scares, including a severe kidney infection, a malignant carcinoid tumor of the appendix, the removal of part of a colon, infections and a partial lung collapse.

Cosmopolitan magazine
Cosmopolitan magazine

As criticism raged online, Cosmopolitan changed the headline to: "A Serious Health Scare Helped Me Love My Body More Than Ever" before deleting the initial tweet promoting the article.

Readers accused the magazine of promoting a "thin at any cost" culture by framing cancer as a weight-loss method.

Cosmopolitan magazine
Cosmopolitan magazine

However, the magazine is upfront that its story is about body image. “I was never satisfied with my shape or weight,” Simone says at the start of the story.

She explains that she had a “complicated relationship with her body” before noting that “her weight-loss journey was overshadowed by a waterfall of health scares.”

But infuriated readers claim the weight loss aspect of the story overshadowed the bigger picture.

Cosmopolitan is the latest major brand to come under fire in recent days, after Kendall Jenner's cancelled Pepsi ad and United Airlines physically removing a passenger from an overbooked flight.

Online Editors

Promoted articles

Also in this section