For tabloids and gossip sites, images of a celebrity who has gained weight is just another cheap scandal to make money — but for the people in those pictures, it’s about their personal journey and emotional wellbeing.
Prison Break star Wentworth Miller used a hurtful meme to make a point about mental health this week, after the LAD Bible posted a promotional picture from the show next to a paparazzi photo showing he’d gained weight. The caption read: “When you break out of prison and find out about McDonald’s Monopoly."
Miller responded with his own Facebook post detailing his lifelong battle with depression, and how in 2010, after disappearing from public life, he turned to food as a method of consolation.
”In 2010, at the lowest point in my adult life, I was looking everywhere for relief/comfort/distraction. And I turned to food. It could have been anything. Drugs. Alcohol. Sex. But eating became the one thing I could look forward to. Count on to get me through. There were stretches when the highlight of my week was a favorite meal and a new episode of TOP CHEF. Sometimes that was enough. Had to be.
“And I put on weight. Big f--king deal.”
He went on to say that seeing paparazzi pictures declaring “Hunk to Chunk” in the press was a painful experience, but in the end he’s glad the pictures exist, because they remind him of his perseverance as he went through a difficult time in his life.
”The first time I saw this meme pop up in my social media feed, I have to admit, it hurt to breathe. But as with everything in life, I get to assign meaning. And the meaning I assign to this/my image is Strength. Healing. Forgiveness.”
He also included links to suicide prevention and mental health organizations.
The LAD Bible has since removed the post, and apologized on Facebook. "We certainly didn’t want to cause you pain by reminding you of such a low point in your life. Causing distress and upset to innocent or vulnerable people is simply not acceptable."