In recent years, we’ve seen how bullying can have drastic effects on the lives of the victims. many times, bullying in children has led to suicide. Such is the case with 12-year-old Brooklyn Marie Brehm of Redmond, Oregon, and 12-year-old Andy Leach of Southaven, Mississipi, who were both bullied because of their weight.
Long-term studies show that fat stigma fuels weight bullying, and that weight bullying is a direct cause of victims gaining even more weight. Even though most of these studies are linked to childhood bullying, the effects of bullying last through adulthood. Although bullying is seen as a childhood dilemma, recent studies have shown that 31% of Americans have reported being bullied as an adult.
Fat shaming and bullying are definitely problems in adult spaces as well, and a problem that Sir Budddha, Mr. Unlimited Bear 2019, plans to use his platform to raise awareness about.
KJ: Hey bro! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
SB: Hey! My name is Sir Buddha, and I’m a native of NYC, a chef, and a Leatherman and kinkster. I am currently a manager at a trendy salon in SoHo, and the owner of a small catering business called “Flavor of Buddha“.
I am also a full brother of Onyx Northeast Chapter – New York. I have years of experience educating others in the world of BDSM, volunteering, and advocating against bullying in POC LGBTQIA+ spaces.
KJ: When did you begin identifying as a bear? Can you tell us a little bit about your journey as a bear?
SB: Well… My journey as a bear started about 5 years ago, when I publicly entered the Kink/BDSM scene. I gravitated toward this sub-community because, as a larger guy, I feel those spaces are important for us to have in order to feel safe.
KJ: What made you enter the Competition?
SB: I entered the competition because I wanted to continue to promote body positivity, and encourage other bears who may be experiencing low self-esteem due to their size.
KJ: What was your favorite part about taking part in the competition?
SB: My favorite part of the competition was meeting all of the beautiful people that I met – having conversations, making connections and building bonds with other guys like myself.
KJ: What is your platform?
SB: My platform is called “The Fight Against Adult Bullying”.
The Bear community is a sub-community created for guys who were put down because of their appearance. It was created for us to have a space where we belong, yet and still, we have a large amount of fat shaming and sizeism in our spaces. It seems that nobody is talking about it. My platform is to help raise awareness and put a stop to it.
KJ: That’s a great platform! Awareness around body positivity and fat shaming are continually needed in our community. In what other ways do you think you can help to promote growth or change in the leather and/or bear/cub communities?
SB: The biggest way that I can help promote growth in leather/bear/cub community is by simply being present. There is a lack of presence and representation of Men of Color in these communities. Bears come in many different shades and sizes. As a Black “Pocket Bear”, I am the alternate view on what a bear is and what a bear can be.
KJ: What are your plans for your title year?
SB: My plan for this title year is to continue to promote my platform by educating my peers and hosting events to create awareness across the United States.
KJ: Will you go on to enter other competitions once your title year is done?
SB: Possibly, there are a few competitions that I have in mind, but I’d like to keep them a secret until the day comes.
KJ: Finally, what’s your advice for anyone entering the competition next year?
SB: My advice to anyone entering any competition next year is to BE YOURSELF. Your authenticity will shine brighter than anything else.