McDermott’s documentary Disordered Eating explored the impact that social media influencers and their content have on people dealing with eating disorders.
Some viewers criticised McDermott for the documentary, which they perceived as “tone-deaf.” Other viewers, however, praised her for recognising she was part of the problem and trying to fix it.
Now, McDermott has spoken about her weight-loss social media posts in a BBC Breakfast (via The Mirror) interview. She explained that she was “trolled” online about her weight after appearing on Love Island and subsequently tried to lose weight, sharing that journey on social media.
“I wasn’t suffering from an eating disorder myself but I knew there was a massive demand for weight loss content so I was just posting not knowing the detrimental impact it was having on my followers. I was just meeting the demands for that content,” McDermott said.
McDermott explained that she is wary that her posts could have a negative effect on followers and could even “trigger” some dealing with eating disorders.
She said that while she is still “passionate about eating healthy” and will post bikini pictures “every once in a while,” she will be looking for more of a “balance” in her content going forward.
“It’s about body image and showing your personality and the things you love, not just how you look,” McDermott said before going on to speak about the documentary specifically.
“I think even though I thought I was prepared for it nothing can prepare you for those conversations,” the former Made in Chelsea star said.
“It’s very rare you sit down with the most vulnerable people in society and reflect on it so it was really eye-opening and it’s changed my view of myself and the content I put out and also I don’t think I knew exactly what the trigger points were but now I do.”
She explained that she will avoid posting explicit diets and workout routines to her social media so as to stop her followers from “emulating” her routines, in case they don’t work for them or are detrimental to them.
“It’s a bit of a tightrope because I want to share my life but I have to be mindful that there are millions of people watching what I do and I don’t want to trigger someone who’s really vulnerable so it’s about finding that perfect balance,” McDermott said.
Beat (www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk) is a charity which raises awareness and understanding of eating disorders, and supports those affected by them. Beat now has a one-to-one secure messaging service. Its phone helpline for those aged 18 and over is 0808 801 0677, and there’s also a dedicated Youthline for those under 18 – 0808 801 0711.
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