Memes: they make the internet go round.
But, as Wentworth Miller highlighted over the last few days, a meme can have a profound and not always positive affect on its subject.
The Hollywood actor’s weight gain was the butt of this fat-shaming joke, posted by The LAD Bible to its 11.8 million Facebook followers:
It was circulated far and fkn wide, and eventually crossed paths with Wentworth himself, who went onto explain that he was actually suicidal at the time those post-Prison Break photos were taken.
He turned to food as a coping mechanism for depression, detailing his struggles in an FB post that’s since gone viral.
“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 favourite meal and a new episode of TOP CHEF. Sometimes that was enough. Had to be.”
expressed his gratitude in a second heartstring-pulling post just now.
“To everyone walking a road that looks like mine, or kind of like mine, or nothing like mine but still made an effort to comment, share, “like,” and care, I say thank you,” part of it reads.
Generally I like to post every day M-F. But after my last post I felt the need to take a beat. Reflect. Go for a walk….
For their part, the ‘The LAD Bible’ did the right thing in not only taking down the meme but issuing a formal apology admitting they “got this very wrong” and linking to a bunch of mental health help lines.
Huge props to you, Wentworth, and may we suggest a side-career in motivational speaking?
Photo: Getty / Michael Tran.
If you’re struggling with self-esteem issues or depression and would like to talk to someone, chat to one of the lovely people at Beyond Blue. You can call them on 1300 22 4636 or at beyondblue.org.au.