On Monday, actor Wentworth Miller came across a meme poking fun at his weight. The photo, posted by online publication The Lad Bible, had accrued 101,000 "likes" and over 12,000 shares.
Miller took a screenshot of the meme and posted it to his own Facebook. But instead of letting the joke get the better of him, Miller decided to respond to the media outlet.
The actor, best known for his work on Prison Break, explained how the meme poked fun at a very rough time in his life. Though he has been the subject of other Internet jokes, he said that this one "stood out from the rest."
The photo on the right was taken in 2010, when Miller was semi-retired from acting and struggling with depression.
At the time, Miller says there was only one thing that was a reliable pick-me-up. Instead of turning to vices such as alcohol or drugs to lift his mood, he began turning to food.
The day the photo was taken, Miller was out for a hike with a friend. They passed by a reality show that was in the process of filming.
"Unbeknownst to me, paparazzi were circling. 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," he said. "In 2010, fighting for my mental health, it was the last thing I needed."
But he survived, and he says he's glad the photos did too.
"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. My endurance and my perseverance in the face of all kinds of demons. Some within. Some without," he wrote.
"Like a dandelion up through the pavement, I persist."
Even though the meme hurt, his heartfelt message proves that it's possible to draw strength from your detractors.
Cover image via s_bukley / Shutterstock.com.