Brian Cuban’s Story of Eating Disorder & Addiction – The Day of the Golden Pants
I remember this severe bullying episode over my weight in school like it was yesterday, and it all culminated to what I call “the day of my gold pants.”
My brother, Mark, had given me a pair of his shiny gold bell-bottom disco pants. They were very “John Travolta” in Saturday Night Fever.
Mark gave me these pants. They had fit him great because he wasn’t a big guy, but they did not fit me well at all. My butt didn’t look right. It appeared as though I had 15 cats back there.
I didn’t care because I loved my brother, my brother loved me, and these pants were a symbol of his love, they were a symbol that someone loved me.
My “John Travolta Gold Disco Pants” was my symbol of love.
I wore those pants to school all the time, and because Mark was popular, I wanted to be popular like him.
Instead of me being popular, the kids just made fun of me because my stomach hung over my gold pants because they were so tight.
It all culminated to one day when I was walking home from school. It was about a mile walk from the high school to where we lived in Pittsburgh, where my mother still lives.
Kids started making fun of my pants and decided it would be hilarious to see what I looked like without these pants on because they didn’t look good on me.
They physically assaulted me, ripped off my shiny, gold, bell-bottom disco pants, and tore them to shreds and threw them in the street.
I was down to my Fruit of the Looms “tighty whities” with my stomach hanging over, and those kids went on like they had done the greatest thing ever.
If this had happened today, you’d have 15 million YouTube views. Back then, just 15 kids in the lunchroom knowing about it meant it went viral.
Even so, it didn’t hurt any less. It was excruciating for me, to the point that even today I can go to the exact spot and show you exactly where it happened.
It was traumatic.
It was around that time that I remember really thinking of myself as that “fat pig,” that unlovable person looking in the mirror and seeing this huge stomach that covered my whole body. This is the beginnings of body dysmorphic disorder in 1979, long before it would be studied.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is when you take a small or non-existent defect in your body and exaggerate it in your perceived reflection.
It is not a visual delusion. It is a perceived, over-powering feeling to the point where you must fix it to live a “normal” life.
For me, that defect was my stomach, but for others, it may be their facial figures or hair. There are many different ways a person can experience body dysmorphic disorder.
BDD has a very high correlation with eating disorders. I believe it was a 30% correlation, last I checked. It also has a strong association with drug and alcohol use and a strong relationship with suicide.
It affects about 2-3% of the population and affects men and women equally.
It was “the day of my gold pants” that I remember really beginning to experience the effects of BDD.
TO BE CONTINUED IN PART 4…
Virtual Presentation by Brian Cuban in the Dec. 7, 2017 Eating Disorder Hope Inaugural Online Conference & link to the press release at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/eating-disorder-hope-offers-inaugural-online-conference-300550890.html
About the Presenter: Author: Brian Cuban is an author whose Amazon best-selling book “Shattered Image: My Triumph Over Body Dysmorphic Disorder,” chronicles his first-hand experiences living with, and recovering from eating disorders, drug addiction and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).
Brian speaks regularly about his recovery, childhood bullying, fat shaming and breaking the mail eating disorder stigma. He has spoken at prestigious locations such as University of North Carolina Center for Eating Disorder Excellence. He has keynoted prestigious events such as the Entertainment Industries Council 3rd Annual Media and Mental Health Awards. Brian has appeared on national talk shows such as the Katie Couric show discussing the above issues. Brian also writes extensively on these subjects. His columns have appeared on CNN.com, Foxnews.com, The Huffington Post and in online and print newspapers around the world.
Based in Dallas, Texas, Cuban is also the segment host for “Brian Cuban’s Legal Briefs” on EyeOpenerTV, and founder of his blog, The Cuban Revolution. Additionally, Cuban is a lawyer and activist specializing in 1st Amendment issues and hate speech and has lectured on the topic in major media outlets and conferences around the world. For more information, visit www.briancuban.com
About the Transcript Editor: Margot Rittenhouse is a therapist who is passionate about providing mental health support to all in need and has worked with clients with substance abuse issues, eating disorders, domestic violence victims, and offenders, and severely mentally ill youth.
As a freelance writer for Eating Disorder and Addiction Hope and a mentor with MentorConnect, Margot is a passionate eating disorder advocate, committed to de-stigmatizing these illnesses while showing support for those struggling through mentoring, writing, and volunteering. Margot has a Master’s of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Johns Hopkins University.
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.
Published on July 3, 2018.
Reviewed & Approved on July 3, 2018 by Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com