'Cosmopolitan' ran a weight loss miracle story about a woman with cancer

Source: Shutterstock
Source: Shutterstock

Women's magazines generally tend to peddle around their fair share of risky dieting tips and sham miracle weight loss stories. 

But Cosmopolitan took the cake on Tuesday when the publication tweeted out an article about a woman who "lost 44 points without ANY exercise" — because she had been sick with cancer. 


Though Cosmo since deleted the initial tweet, the piece is still up on its site under the headline "A Serious Health Scare Helped Me Love My Body More Than Ever." The outlet has not responded to Mic's request for comment.

The story follows Simone Harbinson, a 31-year-old woman from Melbourne, Australia, who learned she had cancer that had spread to her appendix following a surgery she had to treat a kidney infection. She then underwent another surgery to remove other infected areas, including part of her colon, which went badly; a couple of days later, fluid began to leak from her bowel necessitating another emergency surgery.

Following that procedure, Harbinson contracted an infection, sustained a lung collapse and survived a blood clot. 

Following these extreme health complications, Harbinson ended up gaining 35 pounds — which she told Cosmo was a huge disappointment, as before her cancer diagnosis she had been going to the gym six times a week with the goal of losing weight.

One year later, Harbinson found herself amid health troubles again when she injured her back after jumping flat-footed into a pool. Harbinson figured that if she shed some pounds, it might relieve her chronic back pain, and thus started a 12-week diet plan. 

All said and done, she lost 44 pounds. And yes, it was without ever having gone to the gym. But after hearing Harbinson's harrowing tale, most people would say it was lucky the 31-year-old managed to escape with her life. 

Cosmo, however, drew a slightly different — and let's just say, pretty twisted — conclusion.

The outlet wrote, "Simone's weight loss success is proof that anyone can lose weight without breaking a sweat simply by eating more mindfully — no gym required."

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Marie Solis

Marie is a Slay staff writer with focuses in culture and class. Her writing has appeared in Gothamist and the Awl. You can reach her at marie@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Poland makes emergency contraception a prescription-only drug — even for rape survivors

There's a relatively small time frame in which emergency contraception is effective. Requiring prescriptions may mean many Polish women will go without.

Bill Cosby publicists insist speaking tour has nothing to do with sexual assault

Ebonee Benson and Andrew Wyatt accused the media of twisting Wyatt's words, when really there is a video record of his announcement.

Third Vanderbilt football player, Brandon Banks, convicted in rape case

A jury found Brandon Banks guilty on one count of aggravated rape and one count of sexual battery, sending him to a probable 15 years in prison.

What does consent look like on a show like 'Bachelor in Paradise'?

Warner Bros. has cleared the allegations involving Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson, leaving many questions about consent on the show in its wake.

Bill Cosby juror didn't believe Andrea Constand because Constand wore "bare midriff" to Cosby's home

This juror's response to Constand's testimony is victim blaming 101.

In North Carolina, women can't withdraw consent after giving it

The state's consent law says that once someone gives consent, they can't revoke it.

Poland makes emergency contraception a prescription-only drug — even for rape survivors

There's a relatively small time frame in which emergency contraception is effective. Requiring prescriptions may mean many Polish women will go without.

Bill Cosby publicists insist speaking tour has nothing to do with sexual assault

Ebonee Benson and Andrew Wyatt accused the media of twisting Wyatt's words, when really there is a video record of his announcement.

Third Vanderbilt football player, Brandon Banks, convicted in rape case

A jury found Brandon Banks guilty on one count of aggravated rape and one count of sexual battery, sending him to a probable 15 years in prison.

What does consent look like on a show like 'Bachelor in Paradise'?

Warner Bros. has cleared the allegations involving Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson, leaving many questions about consent on the show in its wake.

Bill Cosby juror didn't believe Andrea Constand because Constand wore "bare midriff" to Cosby's home

This juror's response to Constand's testimony is victim blaming 101.

In North Carolina, women can't withdraw consent after giving it

The state's consent law says that once someone gives consent, they can't revoke it.