Billy Corgan Reacts To Smashing Pumpkins Fans Calling Him Fat

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Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan candidly opened up about being called ‘Belly Corgan’ when he gained weight in the early 2010’s, and about dealing with suicidal thoughts in a series of new Instagram posts. If you are dealing with suicidal thoughts, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

“Stole this image from my friend @laneyjones1967. In case you haven’t noticed(?) , I love sharing the artwork of others, especially that which celebrates my work or the imagery associated with it. And though this may sound like a misplaced thought, it has taken me decades to embrace how I ‘look’ physically; for though I was in awe of my Mother’s beauty -and my Father has always been considered quite handsome (and trust me, everyone always went out of their way to tell me)- my own family treated me like an ugly ducking. And told me so! (My brother being the ‘beautiful one’: their words not mine).

So entering the public sphere as a young man of 18 or 19 my experiences were pretty much the same, with many an article written about my appearance (bad posture, crooked teeth, and of course, the unmissable ‘chrome dome’; again, their words, not mine), and many a photo shoot where the photographers asked me to stand in the back not because I was tall but because they did not like my vampyrish countenance spoiling their shot. Now, let me be clear, I share these things not for sympathy but to hopefully inspire and encourage others to more so embrace, and gently so, their own beauty without the same kind of harsh, negative judgement that I bestowed on my own self year after year after year.

To all this, there is no cute end: each of us is as God made us, or if you’re more comfortable with the language: as Nature made us. And with kind eyes I say that everyone I encounter along the way is beautiful to me, and is loved deeply by someone out there for a very good reason. Because there’s only one of you, just like there is -thank God!- only one of me. For if there was two it would certainly signal the end of the world. So that’s a gentle joke for the fetching trolls lurking under my rainbow bridge. Be you, love you, and surrender to the power of Love. It really does move mountains, and as a parent now, I understand that so, so deeply. And wish I could back in time to those beautiful, beautiful boys living on Jill Ct in Glendale Heights and tell them so.”

He wrote on Saturday, “As a follow-up on yesterday’s post about self-acceptance (especially as it pertains to looks and appearances), I’d like to add a few thoughts. But I’m only doing so due to the number of people who reached privately to say that my honesty was taken as some comfort and inspiration to them. For as much as I have said through the years, there’s much more I don’t say; the reasons being obvious.

In therapy at some point in my life (early 2000’s, most likely), the doctor suggested a mental exercise where I had to picture myself as a child and in doing so, actually verbalize what I would say to ‘him’ now As act of outward compassion, I found this extremely difficult and embarrassing. For feeling empathy for such an innocent child was the easy part. What was hard was understanding, and acutely so, why I was not willing to offer the same grace to myself in the present. As if the adult had somehow sinned where the child had not, and was worthy of scorn.

This of course is the critical voice of a destructive parent, taken on by that child, and extended into infinity. Which to my ear also sounds remarkably like those naysayers that say nothing I have ever done in public life or music has any value. Or my favorite, how yeah sure, I made one good album, but that was because I got lucky/stole all my ideas/or didn’t really do-write-create the things I did and the band breaking up (7 years later, BTW), was evidence of my fraud. Again, like my previous post, I share these thing to illuminate the point. For I am no victim, and feel completely blessed and grateful to still be playing on these grand stages after 30 years with my brothers Jimmy and James and Jeff (and of course Jack and Katie too). So back to what I’m after: that inner critic, which manifested in the natural chaos of the world as monsters which hounded me, almost drove me to suicide many a time. Because I could find nothing to stop it’s drumbeat. And no success, gold record, accolade, sold out show, triumph, magazine cover, or even the finishing of an album I’d worked a year on felt complete. To that I celebrated nothing, and dreaded all, because deep down I knew it would never be enough.

To be clear, I hate using my career (there’s that word again LOL) as the illustrative thing, but it’s what I know, and between the ages of 18 and 45 pretty much all I focused on to judge whether I was moving in the right or wrong direction to find the proverbial pot of shamrocks at the end of the rainbow. But the real damage done was to my body with so many years of neglect and self loathing, with my weight ballooning up to somewhere near 270-280 pounds. Food being something I’d use to comfort myself. So that too became a thing, like when my Father called to tell me (I guess with concern?) that I was now being referred to as ‘Belly Corgan’ on FB.

So where does this all go, all these random threads of disharmony and in the true sense of the word, disease (or dis-ease). Pain, inner crippling pain, takes many outer forms: bad relationships, the loss of family ties, divorce, cutting (I did that too as a teen), drug abuse (check), and so on. I’m sure to those still reading I don’t need to list every possible weapon used against ourselves. They are multitudinous and easily available. And there is no quick fix! It’s easy to say trust yourself, or God, but if you don’t love yourself these notions are somewhat quaint.

But here’s the thing: Love is there, God is there always, and WE need you. Love and God and Truth being indestructible in my mind. So ask yourself this question, and it will absolutely defeat that critic if you have the courage to give an honest answer: Which is, what is loveable in you? Now I didn’t say what is worthy, cause that’s a trick question, but Loveable (even the word sounds funny to me)

For if you accept the premise that there is only one of you, and can only ever be one, your value is in your distinction, your individuality, and yes, your voice. Which is why those that know you and care for you see you with such awe and wonder. And tenderness…The root, the very tendril that goes into the ground to draw up sustenance, is what connects you to this mad place. From dust you came and dust you’ll return. But until then you have this magnificent opportunity to love and be loved, and to laugh. As you are: nothing more, and nothing less.”

Stole this image from my friend @laneyjones1967. In case you haven't noticed(?) , I love sharing the artwork of others, especially that which celebrates my work or the imagery associated with it. And though this may sound like a misplaced thought, it has taken me decades to embrace how I 'look' physically; for though I was in awe of my Mother's beauty -and my Father has always been considered quite handsome (and trust me, everyone always went out of their way to tell me)- my own family treated me like an ugly ducking. And told me so! (My brother being the 'beautiful one': their words not mine). So entering the public sphere as a young man of 18 or 19 my experiences were pretty much the same, with many an article written about my appearance (bad posture, crooked teeth, and of course, the unmissable 'chrome dome'; again, their words, not mine), and many a photo shoot where the photographers asked me to stand in the back not because I was tall but because they did not like my vampyrish countenance spoiling their shot. Now, let me be clear, I share these things not for sympathy but to hopefully inspire and encourage others to more so embrace, and gently so, their own beauty without the same kind of harsh, negative judgement that I bestowed on my own self year after year after year. To all this, there is no cute end: each of us is as God made us, or if you're more comfortable with the language: as Nature made us. And with kind eyes I say that everyone I encounter along the way is beautiful to me, and is loved deeply by someone out there for a very good reason. Because there's only one of you, just like there is -thank God!- only one of me. For if there was two it would certainly signal the end of the world. So that's a gentle joke for the fetching trolls lurking under my rainbow bridge. Be you, love you, and surrender to the power of Love. It really does move mountains, and as a parent now, I understand that so, so deeply. And wish I could back in time to those beautiful, beautiful boys living on Jill Ct in Glendale Heights and tell them so.

A post shared by WilliamPatrickCorgan (@williampcorgan) on

As a follow-up on yesterday's post about self-acceptance (especially as it pertains to looks and appearances), I'd like to add a few thoughts. But I'm only doing so due to the number of people who reached privately to say that my honesty was taken as some comfort and inspiration to them. For as much as I have said through the years, there's much more I don't say; the reasons being obvious. In therapy at some point in my life (early 2000's, most likely), the doctor suggested a mental exercise where I had to picture myself as a child and in doing so, actually verbalize what I would say to 'him' now As act of outward compassion, I found this extremely difficult and embarrassing. For feeling empathy for such an innocent child was the easy part. What was hard was understanding, and acutely so, why I was not willing to offer the same grace to myself in the present. As if the adult had somehow sinned where the child had not, and was worthy of scorn. This of course is the critical voice of a destructive parent, taken on by that child, and extended into infinity. Which to my ear also sounds remarkably like those naysayers that say nothing I have ever done in public life or music has any value. Or my favorite, how yeah sure, I made one good album, but that was because I got lucky/stole all my ideas/or didn't really do-write-create the things I did and the band breaking up (7 years later, BTW), was evidence of my fraud. Again, like my previous post, I share these thing to illuminate the point. For I am no victim, and feel completely blessed and grateful to still be playing on these grand stages after 30 years with my brothers Jimmy and James and Jeff (and of course Jack and Katie too). So back to what I'm after: that inner critic, which manifested in the natural chaos of the world as monsters which hounded me, almost drove me to suicide many a time. Because I could find nothing to stop it's drumbeat. And no success, gold record, accolade, sold out show, triumph, magazine cover, or even the finishing of an album I'd worked a year on felt complete. To that I celebrated nothing, and dreaded all, because deep down I knew it would never be enough. (End of part 1)

A post shared by WilliamPatrickCorgan (@williampcorgan) on

(Part 2) To be clear, I hate using my career (there's that word again LOL) as the illustrative thing, but it's what I know, and between the ages of 18 and 45 pretty much all I focused on to judge whether I was moving in the right or wrong direction to find the proverbial pot of shamrocks at the end of the rainbow. But the real damage done was too my body with so many years of neglect and self loathing, with my weight ballooning up to somewhere near 270-280 pounds. Food being something I'd use to comfort myself. So that too became a thing, like when my Father called to tell me (I guess with concern?) that I was now being referred to as 'Belly Corgan' on FB. So where does this all go, all these random threads of disharmony and in the true sense of the word, disease (or dis-ease). Pain, inner crippling pain, takes many outer forms: bad relationships, the loss of family ties, divorce, cutting (I did that too as a teen), drug abuse (check), and so on. I'm sure to those still reading I don't need to list every possible weapon used against ourselves. They are multitudinous and easily available. And there is no quick fix! It's easy to say trust yourself, or God, but if you don't love yourself these notions are somewhat quaint. But here's the thing: Love is there, God is there always, and WE need you. Love and God and Truth being indestructible in my mind. So ask yourself this question, and it will absolutely defeat that critic if you have the courage to give an honest answer: Which is, what is loveable in you? Now I didn't say what is worthy, cause that's a trick question, but Loveable (even the word sounds funny to me) For if you accept the premise that there is only one of you, and can only ever be one, your value is in your distinction, your individuality, and yes, your voice. Which is why those that know you and care for you see you with such awe and wonder. And tenderness…The root, the very tendril that goes into the ground to draw up sustenance, is what connects you to this mad place. From dust you came and dust you'll return. But until then you have this magnificent opportunity to love and be loved, and to laugh. As you are: nothing more, and nothing less.

A post shared by WilliamPatrickCorgan (@williampcorgan) on