Wentworth Miller: Internet Body Shamers Fed Into My Suicidal Depression
When it comes to the “[Celebrity] Hits Back at Internet Body-Shamers” narrative, the targeted star is, more often than not, female (Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Pink and Kelly Clarkson know what I’m talking about, to name a few). But any self-aware person who’s spent more than 10 minutes on social media knows that pettiness abounds, and certain internet “comedians” will let no perceived weakness go un-memed. Actor Wentworth Miller has been stung by this brand of ridicule, and last night (March 28) he confessed that it’s fed into his longtime battle with depression — one that’s left him suicidal at times.
“I’ve struggled with depression since childhood,” the Prison Break actor wrote on Facebook. “It’s a battle that’s cost me time, opportunities, relationships, and a thousand sleepless nights.” He goes on to describe a particularly dark period in 2010 when “was looking everywhere for relief/comfort/
When paparazzi snapped photos of a then-overweight Miller on a hike with a friend, the supposedly “shocking” images became tabloid fodder. “They took my picture, and the photos were published alongside images of me from another time in my career. “Hunk To Chunk.” “Fit To Flab.” Etc.” They also spawned memes like the one he shares in his Facebook post, which you can read in full below.
Though he writes that “in 2010, fighting for my mental health, it was the last thing I needed,” he says he’s been able to overcome both suicidal thoughts and the bad feelings induced by internet commentary.
“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.
Of myself and others.”
The openly-gay actor, who’s Captain Cold is one of the best things about the CW’s latest DC Comics series Legends of Tomorrow, also urged fans to reach out to a depressed loved one.
“If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available. Reach out. Text. Send an email. Pick up the phone. Someone cares. They’re waiting to hear from you.”
Miller’s wise words come on the heels of the Fader‘s report that Grammy-nominated R&B singer Kehlani has been hospitalized following a suicide attempt, after allegations of her infidelity with an ex-boyfriend resulted in a tsunami-sized wave of negative comments and judgments about the 20-year-old’s character on social media. After posting a message that began “today I wanted to leave this earth” and clarified that “no one was cheated on,” she deleted her Instagram account.
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