I have been a Pete Davidson fan for forever. The reasons I started to really love him are that he has Crohn’s Disease (so do I) and that he is so open about mental health. These two things are so close to my heart.
A few years ago during his Ariana Grande days, people were making fun of him for having “butthole eyes”. Grande fired back on Twitter explaining that Davidson has an autoimmune disease and one of the symptoms is having sunken eyes due to dehydration. Later in an interview with Tan France, Davidson replied to the comments by sharing that he has Crohn’s Disease. Crohn’s Disease is an autoimmune condition that causes chronic inflammation throughout the digestive tract. Symptoms include chronic diarrhea, vomiting, pain, and fatigue among many other ailments ranging from mild to severe. While it is commonly regarded as an invisible illness, there are visible manifestations that sometimes occur. There is currently no known cure. There are very few public figures who have openly shared their diagnosis of and experiences surrounding their Crohn’s Disease. Pete’s admission is one of the first times I had heard Crohn’s Disease talked about publicly since my diagnosis in 2015. Obviously the reactions to Pete’s revelation were not favorable and only fueled the already present stigma of Crohn’s Disease. Pete was at the end of an insulting and downright rude joke.
Now, fast forward a few years to today. Davidson is a successful person in his own right and his fame has been inflated even more with his recent relationship with Kim Kardashian. This man who openly shares his struggles and has a disease that is often taboo or considered “gross” is not only super successful with his own accomplishments, he is also dating one of the most successful, influential, and beautiful women in the world.
In the recent episode of “The Kardashians” on Hulu, Kim gushed about Pete and how she is having some of the best moments of her life with him. Now that Pete is majorly in the spotlight, I haven’t heard anyone mention Pete’s Crohn’s Disease (and certainly no “butthole eyes” comments). This shift in public commentary is a welcome one I’m sure, as no one wants to be defined or ridiculed by their illness. With Pete’s ever rising fame and influence, I do wonder if Pete and/or Kim speaking out now could help change the stigma around Crohn’s Disease and invisible and chronic illnesses in general.
Pete has already done so much for changing the stigma around mental health through his openness about his own struggles. Mental health with men is a hugely under discussed issue and he sheds light on it in a humorous and approachable way. Kim is no stranger to mental health struggles either. Her ex-husband, Kanye West, has publicly suffered from his own mental health issues over the years. Kim has been an important part of the mental health conversation acting as a supportive partner and addressing how she’s handled this with her family.
Together Pete and Kim are a powerhouse of influence who have already made an impact in the area of mental health. They have the opportunity now to shift the stigma not only around chronic illness, but also being a partner to someone with a chronic illness. Of course, this is all extremely personal so if Pete chooses not to ever speak about his Crohn’s Disease publicly again, I respect that completely. I just want to put it out into the universe that if he does feel comfortable sharing his experience, I know there are many of us who would welcome it with great appreciation.
As a Pete fan (and a Kim fan), I have to close the article saying that I love that they have found such happiness together and I send them the best wishes. I can’t wait to see what this powerhouse couple does, whether it’s being blissfully in love away from the spotlight or sharing more about their experience together.
Mental health advocate.
Sharing my raw and real journey through motherhood and navigating Crohn’s Disease. CrohnicallyBlonde is a place where I serve up my unfiltered commentary on chronic illness, mental health, pregnancy, and motherhood alongside lighter lifestyle content like beauty product reviews, travel tips, and book recommendations. My hope is that by authentically sharing my story I can help others going through similar situations not feel so alone and maybe even laugh along with me.