Why do people suck so hard? Not you, obviously. But you know the ones. The bullies, the mean girls and guys, the ones who think it’s OK to knock someone down in order to prop themselves up. Them. They’re the worst. Sadly, some of those people don’t even know that they are those people. Maybe they’ve been like that all their lives and no one’s ever told them what a complete and utter douchebag they are so they don’t know any better. Or perhaps they don’t care and think it’s HI-larious to mock and ridicule and make someone feel like crap.
Wentworth Miller isn’t going to let the jerks who mocked or ridiculed him get him down. You know, the ones who thought a fat-shaming meme was perfectly harmless when it was the complete opposite. In fact, it couldn’t have come at a worse time, what Miller refers to as “the lowest point in my adult life” in his emotional and empowering Facebook post. He was suicidal, depressed, ashamed and in pain. So he laid low — but not low enough. The paparazzi found him, took his picture, sold them and the headlines ranged from “Hunk to Chunk” and “Fit to Flab.”
So it was a bad time, a time when Wentworth describes himself as “fighting for my mental health, it was the last thing I needed.”
But he survived — as do the pictures. And he’s glad. Because he’s a survivor and that’s what survivors do. They fight back and persevere and endure and strive, and Miller is the perfect example.
“Now, when I see that image of me in my red t-shirt, a rare smile on my face, I am reminded of my struggle,” he wrote. “My endurance and my perseverance in the face of all kinds of demons. Some within. Some without. Like a dandelion up through the pavement, I persist. Anyway. Still. Despite.”
He added: “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 Legends of Tomorrow star then goes on to take the spotlight off himself — because that is what a hero does — and direct it at others, others who have been subjects of “harmless” jokes, or who were mocked “in good fun,” those who are struggling and need help and want help but don’t know how to get it.
Instead of spiralling further, Wentworth found his way back to a good place, a better place. And instead of shaming the fat-shamers, he’s teaching them a lesson in class and grace. Well done, Mr. Miller. You truly are an inspiration.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention to find a crisis centre.