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People Are Calling Out This Weight Loss Company for Stealing an ED Survivor’s Photo

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Update: SkinnyMe Tea’s controversial Instagram post of Christina Grasso has now been deleted. SMT responded to The Mighty’s request for comment after publication, their response has been added below.

On Wednesday, Australian company SkinnyMe Tea (SMT) posted an image from social media influencer Christina Grasso’s Instagram, with the status, “Little self love does wonders.” The image shows Grasso taking a bubble bath drinking wine.

According to Grasso, who co-founded a peer support network for women in fashion and entertainment struggling with eating disorders, the company did not ask to use her photo. In response to the Instagram post, she commented:

Hi! Would you please remove this? Unfortunately I did not give permission to use my face to advertise your detox tea and especially as an eating disorder advocate this is a problem. Thanks!

People saw her response and flooded the comment section with calls to take the post down.

Among the commenters was “The Good Place” actress Jameela Jamil, a known eating disorders and body positivity advocate. In addition to posting a lengthy Instagram story about the controversy, Jamil posted screenshots on Twitter with the caption:

This fucking ‘detox Tea’ company are using an image of an eating disorder survivor, without her permission, to promote their bullshit product. This is so unethical, just like everything else about these bold, evil companies. They have no morals. This is so gross.

“Skinny” teas like SMT can be harmful to your healthMedical professionals agree “detox programs” like these are simply pseudoscience wrapped up in false advertising — not to mention they are also part of the harmful diet culture people with eating disorders may be particularly vulnerable to.

SMT has removed the post from their Instagram. In response to the controversy, an SMT representative told The Mighty,

This post was meant to be light-hearted as well as to promote the importance of taking time for yourself to relax and indulge in self-care.

This photo was properly credited and has now been deleted but no harm was intended.  We sincerely apologize if any offense was taken and commit to being more careful in the future of the images that we use in our posts.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

Originally published: March 20, 2019
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