The truth about 90 Day Fiance star Big Ed’s neck condition

90 Day Fiancé star Big Ed — real name Ed Brown — is arguably the most talked-about star of Season 4. From Ed’s struggle to find romance with Rosemarie, a woman from the Philippines who is 31 years his junior and younger than his daughter, to his many quirks (he loves a good mayonnaise hair mask), he has sparked a wild amount of headlines. Another area of intense interest concerns Ed’s physical appearance, as he’s only 4’11” and appears to have a very short neck. Although it’s not fair to criticize someone for their appearance, it’s reasonable fans are curious to learn more about his unique stature. 

Questions about Ed’s appearance intensified when he caught heat for criticizing Rose’s unshaved legs as well as her breath. Some viewers wondered why a person who is admittedly insecure about their looks would make someone else feel so inferior. “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?'” Ed told Entertainment Tonight about his body image struggle. “I have a shorter neck and I’m not very tall.”

We’re not sure why Ed tried to make Rose feel “embarrassed,” as she told him in her powerful breakup speech, although we do know the truth about his neck condition. 

Big Ed has been teased about his rare medical condition

As Big Ed revealed in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, he has a rare congenital condition called Klippel-Feil syndrome. People “with KFS are born with abnormal fusion of at least two spinal bones (vertebrae) in the neck,” according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“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 when I was in high school, I actually got stuck in the neck machine.” He added, “I used to work out with all the football players and so that became kind of a running joke, so I sort of become really well-known, they would still sort of tease me. So when the show first came out, I was literally in a panic.”

The silver lining in all of this is Ed’s improved outlook on life. “The most important thing I’ve learned from that is that I’m different and it’s OK to be different,” he shared. “I think if people really knew how it affects people when you make fun of somebody, they wouldn’t do that. To make fun of someone’s physical appearance is … it’s an unkind thing.”

Ed makes a good point here, although perhaps he should take his own advice.

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