+
upworthy
Pop Culture

Kevin Smith receives a flood of support after sharing how childhood trauma affected his identity

Fans are applauding his honesty and calling for destigmatization of mental health conversations.

kevin smith
People/Youtube

Let's normalize talking about our mental health.

For many of us, the impacts of childhood trauma linger on insidiously. Aspects of our adult identity become shaped by those terrible chapters in our early years without us even realizing it. And because this happens at such a young age, it can take years of soul searching, not to mention professional support, before a person can sift through those painful memories to recover a real sense of self.

Yes, it’s a taxing and scary process, with perhaps the most daunting aspect being the fact that you once again have to bring that trauma to light by talking about it. But as we have seen many times over, being open and honest about our struggles often results in the support, healing and transformation needed to improve our mental health. In other words—the rewards outweigh the discomfort.

Filmmaker Kevin Smith is a celebrity pretty well known for being candid about his personal challenges, especially when it comes to health and well-being. After suffering from a heart attack back in Feb 2018, the “Clerks” director has made his weight loss journey and the insights from it a major part of his presence online. You’d be hard pressed to find a fan that didn’t know about this part of his life.

However, in an exclusive with People, Kevin Smith revealed for the first time that the root cause of his previous weight struggles had been related to sexual abuse he experienced at 6 years old, when an older boy forced him to perform sexual acts with a young girl in the neighborhood.

As Smith told People, he always denied the gravity of the incident, telling himself that "we were just playing doctor in an alleyway." It wouldn’t be until the age of 52, after checking into Arizona's Sierra Tucson treatment center and dedicating a month to intensive therapy, that Smith would learn the event was indeed severe and left him with an untreated psychological wound.

It took suffering from a "complete break from reality" and being stuck in a “weird, dark place,” but Smith did finally get help. After talking with a therapist, he learned that the incident, along with being made fun of for his weight by a teacher in grade school, led him to create a "larger-than-life" public persona he calls "the other guy.”

"I felt disgusting, like I didn't matter. That's when 'the other guy' started to appear. I decided to be entertaining and make people love me before they noticed I was fat,” he told People.

As we all know from “Jay and Silent Bob” alone, this strategy has worked. Perhaps for Smith more than most, it would seem disastrous to throw away an alter-ego which has brought such great commercial success.

And yet, Smith has still decided to not only take steps towards finding his "authentic self," which include discontinuing smoking pot and incorporating a more relaxed work schedule, but to share his story with fans in an effort to spread the message of the importance of self-acceptance.

Smith posted a link to the People article on his own Twitter account, writing, “Having been a creature of the Internet for 28 years now, I fully expect to get trolled for this. But if it can help some folks, it’ll be worth it. So here goes…A few months back I went through a mental health crisis. This is some of the stuff I learned.”

Take a look at what folks had to say:

“The more we talk about our mental health, the less stigma there will be around it. It’s ok to not be ok. Thanks for sharing your journey with us, Kevin!”

“Kev, I don't know you well, but we've met a few times over the years and I've always had a ton of respect for you. And I respect you even more for having the courage to face your demons publicly in a way that will surely help others do the same. Much love, brother.”

“Dude I related to this hard especially struggling with people commenting on my body when I was much heavier growing up and how I processed it. I minimized a lot of the comments going through life. Glad you talked about it Kevin.”

“Sending you all the love, Kev. You are worthy. In every way. You are helping people every day, but most importantly you're also taking time to help yourself and that's equally as important. I've been on a similar journey and I'm just happy to hear about your healing journey.”

“Thank you so much for this Kevin, being able to actually see the real authentic you is truly amazing, and I hope others get so much positive energy and healing from this, mental health is important and our happiness.”

“This was so beautiful. I can't thank you enough for sharing all your wisdom these last few years especially. I'm so happy you're finding yourself, cos that's who we love. You always shine past the other guy. Much love and godspeed in your continued growth.”

You certainly don’t have to be a popular celebrity to talk about your struggles. If anything, this is a beautiful example of what can happen when we normalize having these types of conversations. It might not look like an interview with People, but opening up to our loved ones, community or a therapist can still work wonders for recovering our sense of self. In fact, it might be the only way for us to truly do it.

You can watch Smith’s full video interview with People below:

Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

Keep ReadingShow less

Kellogg's CEO tells people to eat cereal to save money

It doesn't matter if you're a single adult or married with children, there's nothing quite like having cereal for dinner or a late night snack once in a while.

Something about it feels nostalgic but it's also really easy to fall back on when you're too exhausted to cook a full meal. There's nothing wrong with grabbing a bowl of cereal for a meal outside of breakfast. You're feeding yourself or your family a food that contains some of the vitamins a body needs.

Maybe that's the thought process Kellogg's CEO Gary Pilnick was going with when he unintentionally sparked some serious backlash. Pilnick was interviewed by CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" discussing the cereal giant's new commercial featuring Tony the Tiger. The commercial itself isn't really the problem. It features a mom holding a box of cereal with kids excitedly awaiting their cereal for dinner chanting along with Tony the Tiger's call to eat the sweet meal.

The backlash came followeing Pilnick's comments about why his company felt the need to create a commercial advocating families eating cereal for diner.

Keep ReadingShow less


We all know that Americans pay more for healthcare than every other country in the world. But how much more?

According an American expatriate who shared the story of his ER visit in a Taiwanese hospital, Americans are being taken to the cleaners when we go to the doctor. We live in a country that claims to be the greatest in the world, but where an emergency trip to the hospital can easily bankrupt someone.

Kevin Bozeat had that fact in mind when he fell ill while living in Taiwan and needed to go to the hospital. He didn't have insurance and he had no idea how much it was going to cost him. He shared the experience in a now-viral Facebook post he called "The Horrors of Socialized Medicine: A first hand experience."

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Monica Lewinsky reclaims the office power suit in new voting campaign

The activist teamed with apparel brand Reformation to combat voter frustration in a fabulous way.

Lewinsky partnered with Reformation for their "You've Got The Power" voting campaign

Monica Lewinsky knows a thing or two about reinvention.

The former White House intern became the source of media obsession after her affair with former President Bill Clinton become public. It solidified her place in history against her will, but through her actions since, Lewinsky has transformed her public persona into a feminist icon and champion of a powerful anti-bullying campaign.

Now, the 50-year-old Lewinsky is lending her household name to sustainable fashion brand Reformation and Vote.org in hopes to encourage people to vote this year.
Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Don't worry, Wendy's isn't raising prices during the busiest times. But changes are coming.

People were very upset after hearing that surge pricing may come to the local drive-thru.

A combo meal from Wendy's.

In a world where prices are continuously increasing, prominent companies are turning to surge pricing to raise prices even further during peak demand times. Uber charges people more for a ride when demand is high. Hotels have been changing prices based on demand for years and Amazon uses AI to keep prices constantly in flux.

Recently, Ticketmaster, known for charging high fees, has been charging customers even more for tickets as demand rises.

On Monday, February 26, news reports began circulating that Wendy’s, America's 5th most popular fast-food chain, would implement dynamic pricing at its restaurants. Many assumed that meant a Dave’s Double burger would cost an extra $3 during dinner time or medium fries would cost an extra buck during the lunch rush.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

What is in its 'golden age' but not enough people know about it?

There's so much good out there if you know where to look.

Canva

From astronomy to knitting, some fields of human endeavor are having a heyday.

When you peruse the news headlines or dive into discussions on current events on social media, it's pretty easy to feel despondent. Doom and gloom sells, unfortunately, and our natural negativity bias that's meant to protect us can be overworked by a 24/7 bombardment of humanity's challenges.

There is an anecdote to all of that, though: Curating and cultivating the good. Sometimes it's just knowing where to look to find examples of problems being solved, discoveries being made, innovation taking huge leaps and other evidence that humans are moving our collective life forward in incredible ways.

Someone on Reddit asked, "What is currently in its 'Golden age,' but not enough people know about it?" and thousands of people responded. Reading through the answers is an enlightening and uplifting glimpse of things we might not personally be involved with but are happy to see having a heyday. Like, who wouldn't like to know that we're in a golden age of astronomy and paleontology. Space and dinosaurs? It's like realizing our 5-year-old selves' ideal future.

Keep ReadingShow less