Cosmo's 'cancer' diet plan

Cosmo, the women's how-to-drive-him-wild-in-bed sex magazine, has gotten itself into hot water today by seemingly advocating cancer as a weight loss strategy.

Technically, cancer does cause weight loss, which is what repelled readers.  The magazine wrote about the woman, pictured above, as someone who lost 44 pounds without *ANY* exercise.  The message implied that Cosmo gals should get themselves some cancer and watch those unwanted pounds melt off.

Actually, it wasn't as bad as that.

The article described how the woman changed her diet to healthy foods after her diagnosis for a rare form of appendix cancer, which involved surgery and extended time in the hospital.  From there, Cosmo reported that the woman lost weight.  According to the New York Post's Page Six, the magazine concluded its piece with:

Simone’s weight loss success is proof that ANYONE can lose weight without breaking a sweat simply by eating more mindfully – no gym required.

...before deleting that, and slapping on an only slightly less disgusting headline: "A Serious Health Scare Helped Me Love My Body More Than Ever."

The damage was done, however.  Some choice tweets, curated by the Washington Post:

Dear Cosmopolitan magazine: ‘Cancer is not a diet plan.’

Ya, my aunt was oh so sexy as she was dying & losing weight from cancer @Cosmopolitan. Do you people ever think before you put out stories?

@Cosmopolitan is still struggling to figure out whether it wants to be a serious news outlet, or promote cancer as a way to lose weight.

Nice. The cancer diet plan. It's like they don't know #PR is an actual thing .@Cosmopolitan just chillin' w/ .@united today in #PR hell!

There wasn't anything factually in error in this piece.  What was revolting was the magazine's core values.  Never mind the cancer the woman had or whether she could survive it – what mattered to Cosmo was whether she was fat and by extension sufficiently lovable.  Fat is apparently far more of a concern to Cosmo's editors than whether the woman recovered from cancer.  Even the substitute headline about learning to love her body through weight loss was appalling: if the woman had stayed fat and not lost the weight, would her body somehow be less lovable?

As this tweeter correctly summed the matter up:

How did she do it? She had CANCER! And the weight loss is what @Cosmopolitan focussed on?!?!?! FFS!

Sounds about right.  Some things the rest of us out here just can't understand.

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