(Onward State) At Penn State, Brian Cuban was a runner. He ran and he ran. He ran at 5 a.m., he ran after the sun had set, he ran during football games, he ran when he should have been in class. He ran from the insults, he ran from the guilt, he ran from the memory of the gold pants, he ran from the people who had “talked to his mother.”
Running defined his Penn State existence.
Now, he’s a recovered anorexic, bulimic, alcoholic, and drug addict — he’s told his story to thousands to raise awareness and prevent future incidents.
Looking back, years later, Cuban can’t believe he survived.
Read the rest of the story here.
Fat Shaming and fat stigmatizing are nothing new in the tabloid media. Movie stars, reality stars and the body of pretty much anyone in the entertainment public eye is ogled, criticized and critiqued with a media ruler taken to every waistline, bust-line and and belt notch gained or lost. So what’s the big deal? These are adults who have made a conscious choice to thrust themselves into the limelight. All publicity is good publicity right? Wrong. Let’s move past that and look at the bigger picture. Fat stigmatizing and shaming by the media hurts not only the target but all of us. It has consequences. It desensitizes us to being empathetic to the struggles of others. It tells us that it is ok to teach our children to react in the same manner to other children who may be overweight or different in some manner. When done on social media sites like Twitter, it encourages others of like mind to pile on, further creating the fiction that it is acceptable conduct. Finally, contrary to popular belief, fat shaming has no positive effect on weight loss and in fact, has the opposite effect in addition to other possible long term consequences to the target.
What about those of us who may be carrying a few extra pounds who are not in the media limelight? Maybe just wanting to take in a NBA playoff game with some primo court side seats? Exit stage left the Hollywood tabloids. Enter stage right, the sports media who are supposed to be covering sporting events but instead target some unsuspecting person just trying to take in a playoff game.
ESPN pundit, Darren Rovell, decided that all is fair in love, war, sports and fat shaming when he tweeted a photo of such a guy and rendered his distasteful public opinion about the guy’s size to his 460,000 followers on Twitter. Darren deleted the tweet and did apologize, but only after he was called out by other twitter users. One could argue under such circumstances that it was less an apology than CYA damage control. I won’t attempt to read what was going through Darren’s head but one thing is clear. At the moment he hit send on that tweet, he did not think it was any big deal to fat shame the guy enjoying the basketball game. The desensitizing of America to the struggles of others. Rovell disappeared for the rest of the night as the wrath of twitter(mine included) descended on him for his insensitive tweet. Shame on Darren and any other media representative who believes that it is funny or witty to inflict a fat stigma “drone strike” on an unsuspecting person who wants nothing more to enjoy his/her life free from public attacks over his/her body. Let’s try to be more empathetic to the struggles and differences of others and not prop ourselves up for a laugh at their expense. If you can’t be that, try harder just to keep your mouth shut.
Brian Cuban is a an author whose best-selling book “Shattered Image: My Triumph Over Body Dysmorphic Disorder” chronicles his first-hand experiences living with, and recovering from childhood bullying, eating disorders and Body Dysmorphia Disorder (BDD) and drug addiction. Brian speaks regularly about his recovery and breaking the male eating disorder stigma.
In 1979, as a freshman at Penn State University, I began my descent into anorexia. Within a year, I had become bulimic. I would stay bulimic until I was 45 years old. At the time, I had no idea those words existed or what an eating disorder was. They were simply behaviors I engaged in like breathing to get me through each day. The act of binging and purging for those few seconds made me feel like a whole person. Like I would finally be accepted. Of course when those few moments had passed, the overwhelming shame of something I did not understand filled the void. The shame of my dirty secret. A secret I would keep for 27 years.
Read more: Binging and purging at Passover | Brian Cuban | Ops & Blogs | The Times of Israel http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/binging-and-purging-at-passover/#ixzz2z9bINiMk