The latest season of 90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days has begun. And one participant, in particular, has stood out more than others.
Ed Brown, who gave himself the moniker “Big Ed”, has bravely decided to share his story of finding true love on this season. And has already had to deal with the fallout of being a little different.
While anyone choosing to go on reality tv must know they are about to enter the juggernaut of online trolls it doesn’t make the experience any easier. Especially when there might be something different about them.
Ed is a 54-year-old photographer who has decided to take a chance on love with 23 year- old Rosemarie from the Philippines. At just 4’11, Ed is a big personality in a smaller package. And has been open on the show about his concerns Rosemarie wouldn’t find him attractive.
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Sitting down with Entertainment Tonight, Ed talked about his condition called Klippel-Feil syndrome. Which is a rare congenital condition that causes the fusion of bones in the neck.
“I have limited range of movement,” Ed explained, “I have a bigger than normal chest cavity, so I’ve been made fun of my whole life.” And even when he was getting married to his now ex-wife he shared his concerns over his appearance. “I even asked my ex-wife one time, who at the time we got married was beautiful, and I said, ‘Why do you love me? Don’t I look differently to you? I have a shorter neck and I’m not very tall,” he shared, “And she’s like ‘What are you talking about?”
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Ed’s decision to appear on tv also caused him anxiety over his appearance. And how people would respond. “..when the show first came out, I was literally in a panic because I was reading stuff online – which they told me not to,” he said. And while the things he saw were “unkind” he claims he’s not mad at those who said it. “I think if people really knew how it affects people when you make fun of somebody, they wouldn’t do that,” Ed explained.
However, there is a silver lining. Ed discovered his brave decision to go on tv has helped a viewer who suffers from the same condition he does. In an emotional moment, Ed explained how he was contacted by a viewer named Abe. “Two weeks ago, I got this letter from Abe in New York that has my same condition,” he shared. “I was able to reach out to him and he was like, ‘Look, I don’t know how you do it, you’re on national TV rubbing mayonnaise on your hair. I have the same problem, everyone is making fun of me.”
Ed shared that Abe wanted to “give up” on life. “I just said, “Abe do not. Do not let this syndrome define who you are,” he explained, “And that’s how I’ve always kind of lived my life.” Ed maintains he has to have a “sense of humor” about it.
“If we can learn more to laugh at ourselves and people are going to look at us differently,” Ed stated. “But the most important thing I’ve learned from that is that I’m different and it’s OK to be different.”
If nothing else from this season, Ed can at least say he may have inspired some people to embrace their differences.
TELL US – WHAT DO YOU THINK OF BIG ED? DO YOU THINK IT WAS BRAVE OF HIM TO DECIDE TO GO ON TV? DO YOU THINK HE SHOULD HAVE EXPECTED THE THINGS PEOPLE ARE GOING TO SAY ABOUT HIM?
[Photo Credit: TLC]