Consider it a pass off the fingertips of a missed opportunity.
Everyone’s favorite celebrity punching bag with Type 1 diabetes, Jay Cutler, again found himself in the crosshairs of social media contempt when his wife, Kristin Cavallari, posted a vacation photo of the two together. More than a few people commented that Cutler, an injured quarterback with the Chicago Bears, looked heavy in the picture.
When Cavallari got wind of the criticism, she followed it up with a photo of Cutler looking more svelte, stating, “And since Jay looked like a 300lb (sic) lesbian in my last post, I felt I should do him justice by posting him looking hot AF in this one.”
(“AF” is an abbreviation for…um…looking quite attractive. Yes, anyway, let’s move on.)
Thanks to filters, camera angles, and a lack of timestamps, no one really knows if Cutler actually gained weight in the offseason or just happened to have a photo taken where he looked heavier than he usually does. However, Cavallari’s defense left much to be desired. First, the most obvious issues – she stereotyped what a lesbian looks like, and threw in a good dollop of sizeism to boot. Also, if Cutler looks fat in the first picture, then I look like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man in vacation photos.
But what pains me most about this exchange is that this was a missed opportunity to talk about the fact that intensive insulin therapy makes one prone to weight gain. There have been several studies over the years that have found that good blood glucose control can make one prone to weight gain; it’s not inevitable, but it is easy to pack on a few pounds if you’re working for tight blood sugar control. One would assume that Cutler, who plays at the highest competitive level of football and is recovering from shoulder surgery, would need to have at least reasonably tight blood sugar control to perform well (and say what you want about his uneven play, he’s played well enough to have a job in the NFL for years). It would stand to reason that during the offseason and recovery from surgery, Cutler might gain weight because of his insulin therapy…and that would be okay.
It’s perhaps unfair to ask Cavallari and Cutler to have acted as Type 1 diabetes ambassadors during this exchange. Still, it would have been lovely if we could have used the ugly comments directed at Cutler to have had a real discussion about insulin therapy and weight gain, and about how many people with Type 1 struggle with body image issues and eating disorders. Alas, it was not to be, and instead we are given yet another image of people with perfectly sculpted bodies doing beautiful things in beautiful places.
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