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POP INTERVIEW: Brian Cuban Talks To Katie Couric About Being A Man With An Eating Disorder

With his appearance on a national US TV show, he will no longer be the “brother of…” someone or the guy who was picked on in school. Cuban will be a role model to other men who have the same problems right now. His book is one of the rare reads where you really relate to the person no matter what walk of life you come from.

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Shattered Image author Brian Cuban just appeared on Katie Couric’s talk program, Katie. Appearing on a special themed episode with Demi Lovato, Cuban talked about being a man with an eating disorder.

With his appearance on a national US TV show, he will no longer be the “brother of…” someone or the guy who was picked on in school. Cuban will be a role model to other men who have the same problems right now. His book is one of the rare reads where you really relate to the person no matter what walk of life you come from.

brian runway

How did the audience react to you? Did you talk with them between filming?
It was great! Katie was very professional and a great interview. She let me talk and gave me free range to elaborate when needed. She is a class act. I never really even focused in on the audience so I don’t know how they reacted. I was looking at Katie focused in on the questions she was asking me. I had a sense that there was an audience but totally zoned that out when I sat down. There was really no opportunity to speak with them. It was three segments shot back to back so it was very busy.

Did you get to do anything else exciting or meet interesting people on your last trip to NYC? Demi Lovato, right?
Demi Lovato was part of the eating disorder series but was not at my shoot. I was told she was shooting the next day due to scheduling issues. I met very interesting people. Author Susan Barry, who lost her son to anorexia, as well as Dr. Theodore E. Weltzin, who is a renowned expert on male eating disorders. I did not get to do anything else. It was a really quick trip. They bring you in the evening before, you pack up your luggage and head over with it to the studio the next morning. When it’s over your luggage is there waiting and a driver takes you back to the airport. Other than going to the shoot, I never left my hotel. I travel pretty regularly to NYC, so not getting to do anything that trip was no big deal.

Are people still surprised that men can suffer from eating disorders and self esteem issues? And who is more in denial of this: men or women?
Not suprised at all. Our society places so much emphasis on body image and physical perfection. Men are not immune. I suspect even Clint Eastwood has fat days. The pressure is much more intense media wise than when I was growing up way before Al Gore invented the Internet. (That’s a joke.) There were no airbrushed digital images back then There were only three television stations.

Have you spoken at any schools since your book came out?
Yes, I speak regularly to high schools about the effects of bullying.

brian cuban

How are you going to inspire young people by telling your true story beyond the book? I hate to say this…not everyone in high school reads outside of class.
Just word of mouth. All I can do is just keep spreading the word that those suffering are not alone and there is hope for recovery through speaking, media and my book. It’s one person at a time. Hopefully, as more an more people realize that there is no shame in stepping forward and admitting these issues publicly or privately in treatment, we will one day reach a critical mass where men’s body image issues and eating disorders will be as mainstream as women’s. This will result in more realistic media portrayal, better insurance coverage and a more extensive national conversation .

Do you have to make an effort every day to be healthy?
Absoutely. I still have unthealthy thoughts. I just process them differently. It took many hours in a shrink’s office and dealing with the shame of my childhood to get there. Recovery is a process even now. there is good days and bad days. I just try to keep the forward motion going. :o)

What is the best way to cope with bullying?
By addressing it proactively and not simply coping with it. Our children have to be taught by example how to respond appropriate to bullies within their genetic/psychological predispositions. Two of the keys are compassion and voice. We should teach our children to have compassion for others and have a voice for those who are bullied. It’s ok to say that’s not ok. It all starts at home.

How can someone prevent becoming a bully or bullying back the person who is mean to you?
I’m not sure what that means but I will take a stab. I don’t think children make conscious choices to “become bullies” There can be many reasons for it. I became a terrible bully at a point in my life. In my case it was a self defense mechanism from being bullied severely as a child over my weight and as a means of acceptance in my mind. If I became the bully first then not only would I not get bullied again but I would be accepted by the cool kids who bullied me. It of course does not work like that. I wasn’t accepted and it made me only feel worse about myself. I think that instilling compassion and voice as well as a good sense of self in our children is a good start in providing them the framework to not become a bully.

Since I met you, you’ve gotten on a national daytime talk show and received plenty of positive reviews on your book. What next? Are you hitting up Rodeo Drive with Paris Hilton, as seen in People Magazine? Are you still going to talk to me when you get a Hollywood Walk of Fame star?
Nah. I am a homebody. Most days are spent hanging out at home with my girlfriend, my dog Peanut and cat Useless. I left all that party and “be-seen” stuff behind when I left the drugs and alcohol behind. I’ve learned to be who I really am: Boring Brian hanging out at home. You seem cool. I’d hang out at Starbucks. :o)

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Watch Brian Balthazar and Wendy Williams Talk About What’s Trending Now

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Always SO much fun going on the Wendy Williams show to talk about what’s trending! In this case, the best part (for me at least!) was wearing a creating by art director Michael Lee Scott, who recreated the iconic hat worn by Billy Porter at the Grammys! What a recreation!

Brian Balthazar Billy Porter Hat

 

 

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Wendy Stuart Kaplan Knows How To Party – Now She’s Throwing An Epic One Of Her Own!

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Wendy Stuart Kaplan knows her way around a party. In her book, ‘She’s The Last Model Standing,” she wrote about her headline grabbing days at Studio 54, and now throws more than a few of her own. The latest is her “Reading For Filth” and her birthday extravaganza, where she, hosts Eileen Dover and Nick Lion and others (including yours truly!) will perform a collection of wildly entertaining essays, poems, comedic rants and more. The kind of person who is so ‘on the go’ you get exhausted just thinking about it (she, however, does not) I caught up with her as she was taking a break between a radio show, a modeling job and a party tonight. If you want to catch up with Wendy, you have to be flexible… she’s probably got a full schedule that day! Her party this Friday is one that will not only celebrate a wildly varied and entertaining life, but also celebrate the spoken word from a variety of performers.

Anyone who’s ready your book “She’s The Last Model Standing” knows you’ve been partying since studio 54 – when did you first realize you were a party girl?

I first realized when I came back to New York after college! I wasn’t until then, because there was no good place to party.

Where did you go to school?

SUNY Binghamton where I majored in anthropology – and then I went to Nigeria! I definitely enjoyed partying eventually, but back then I really, really wanted to go to Africa, which I did!  I have gone back often, most recently to work on my documentaries.

Wendy Kaplan was a bold faced name for tearing up the dance floor AND going home right after.

That’s wild! But it’s not surprising to hear of that passion since you make films about wildlife conservation there. But your festive side eventually DID come out! We all know you now as a social butterfly! Whether you’re at a party, or working a film premiere – but were you as confident and comfortable in the spotlight as a kid as you are now?

I was an oddball kid. I had two things: I had my friends in the Bronx, and the ones that I had in school and they didn’t mix all that well. I loved growing up there, that was home – but I remember as a kid I would get stomachaches before parties! How weird is that? Until you asked me I had forgotten all about that.

What were you worrying about?

Social pressures – what if nobody talks to me – oh my god, I’m not pretty. I had a short mop of brown hair because my mom thought I looked better with short hair, and I had chubby cheeks. I didn’t love that look. I used to put on wigs as a kid and imagine myself with long blonde hair!

And here we are! 

Here we are, right? Long blonde hair. I morphed into it. I’m totally self made!

Tell me more about Reading for Filth – your event this Friday at Club Bedlam.

Reading for Filth came about when Brian Butterick, also known as Hattie Hathaway, used to have these events. One had the byline, “low rent reading for a high rent city.” Reading for filth is an expression for ‘I’m going to read you to filth,’ as in, “I’m gonna tell you what I really think.” The performers would do a reading of their choice. Something personal, maybe about an old boyfriend, or something someone else wrote, and they’d get up and read it in front of a room. At the last one we had, Michael Musto read from Suzanne Somers’ poetry book. I didn’t even know she wrote poetry… here the same person who wrote about African violets is also behind the Thighmaster! Brought me to tears! I imagine her thighs going back and forth as she sits next to a table with a sole African violet in its little pot, which inspired her to write the poem.

The reason we chose to open my birthday party with it is, when Hattie passed away, my friend and partner in crime Michael Fontana (Eileen Dover) really wanted to keep it going. We say it’s such a downtown New York thing but it’s a New York thing. It’s a nationwide thing. Think about what’s hot right now: storytelling. And here we have had Reading for Filth going on long before all that other stuff. Brian Butterick had been doing it for six to ten years. He was very ahead of his time. We brought it back this past year.

You love people and being around them, entertaining them, but you also love your home life – please describe your NYC living situation. You have a beautiful place… but describe your roommates.

Well, we will have to go back about 30 years when I got my first rabbit. I haven’t lived without one for 30 years, so when one dies I always have one in the wings. Fast forward to now, we always have two rabbits. It’s nice if they have another rabbit to hangout with. Also, 33 years ago we got a baby cockatoo, named her Louise, fed her formula, and she is now hanging out with me in my living room. Did I also mention our blue merle chihuahua?

In my New York apartment everyone is loose. No one is caged.  Everybody is trained to go on those wee-wee pads you buy for dogs, and everybody goes on a wee-wee pad including the rabbits… but not the dog.

Wendy’s rabbit S’mores roams free in her apartment along side another rabbit, a cockatoo and a Chihuahua.
Wendy Kaplan’s dog Nugget does what it wants.

You know how to party – we know that – your wedding was no exception…describe your epic wedding.

So my wedding was 32 or so years ago. I should know that! Alan (a renowned photographer) and I got married in our huge loft, and you had to come dressed as members of a bridal party. It was on Halloween – you could be a bride, or a groom or a bridesmaid. The only problem was a lot of people thought it was a costume party and not an actual wedding. So we had people dressed as bridesmaids with five o’clock shadows and brides with full beards. They thought this was just going to be a big loft party – because we always gave huge parties – and not a wedding. But it was actually our wedding. I didn’t get many gifts because no one took it seriously. I won’t make that mistake again!

You’ve been modeling since you were in your twenties – what’s the best thing anyone can do to look and feel like a model whether they’re walking down the street or working it in the office?

You have to know who you are. What’s your style? What makes you feel good? What floats your boat? When you put on a certain dress how does that make you feel? Don’t go with trends, go with what you’re attached to! Listen to your inner fashionista. And you know what? We all have that.

Reading For Filth is open to the public this Friday at 8pm at Club Bedlam, 40 Avenue C, NYC. For more on Wendy visit her book’s Facebook page, her personal facebook page, or her instagram.

Visit her website, and buy her book on amazon!

 

 

 

 

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All 18 of the BAFTA Acting Nominees Are White, All Directing Nominees Are Male

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“Joker” is the one to watch at the upcoming BAFTAs, but if you’re looking for diversity and female directors, sadly you’ll have to look somewhere else. All the acting nominees are white, and all the directors are male.

Led by a lead actor nomination for Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker” received 11 nominations for Britain’s equivalent to the Oscars, competing with familiar Golden Globe nominees Taron Egerton, “Rocketman,”  Leonardo DiCaprio for “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” Adam Driver for “Marriage Story,” and Jonathan Pryce for “The Two Popes.”

Renée Zellweger leads the nominations for the best actress category for her role in “Judy,” alongside Jessie Buckley,  “Wild Rose,” Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story,” Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women,” and Charlize Theron for “Bombshell.”

Here are the other notable highlights:

See the full nomination page HERE.

  • 11 nominations for Joker
  • 10 nominations for The Irishman and Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
  • Nine nominations for 1917
  • Six nominations for Jojo Rabbit
  • Five nominations for Little WomenMarriage Story and The Two Popes
  • Four nominations for For SamaParasite and Rocketman
  • Three nominations for BombshellJudyLe Mans ’66 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The ceremony will be held on Feb. 2 at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

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