‘Bachelorette’ Fans React As Suitor Ben Smith Opens Up About His 15-Year Battle With An Eating Disorder
The Bachelorette fans are speaking out after one of Tayshia Adams’ suitors opened up about his long battle with an eating disorder. In an emotional reveal on the ABC dating show, 29-year-old fitness guru and military veteran Ben Smith stunned viewers as he told Tayshia about a secret he has been hiding for years.
After he stripped down to pose for a NSFW portrait on a group date, Ben told Tayshia he has lived a very different life than she may have assumed.
“I don’t want to lay all this on you, but the reason I’m in fitness and nutrition — I had an eating disorder for 15 years,” he said, per E! News.
Ben went on to say his issues with food started at age 15 when he realized girls don’t like “the fat kid.”
“So, I stopped eating, I started working out all the time, lost like, 70 pounds, and had bulimia for like, 10 years when I was in my 20s.”
Ben revealed that he kept his dangerous secret from “everybody,” and that the only person he eventually told was his sister, whom he credited with saving his life.
Tayshia later said it meant a lot to her that Ben opened up to her about something so “deep and personal.”
On social media, Bachelorette fans also reacted to Ben and Tayshia’s conversation about a topic that is often considered taboo. Some admitted that Ben’s move to strip down as a way to “let his guard down” around Tayshia made much more sense in the context of his past struggles with body image.
“Ben opening up about battling an eating disorder for so long is so SO important and beautiful, There’s a lot of shame surrounding it, especially for men, and the fact that he stripped it down in front of other men on national TV is so meaningful,” one viewer tweeted.
Others thanked Ben for sharing his story. One Twitter user added that it was brave for a man to open up about such a serious topic that most people associate with females.
In addition to Ben’s surprising reveal, Tayshia’s suitor Zac Clark also opened up to her about his past addiction to pain medication and later stint in rehab. Many fans of The Bachelorette have been surprised by the vulnerable conversations the contestants have been having with Tayshia so far on her sequestered season as they open up in a way never before seen on the ABC dating franchise.