The type 2 diabetes crowd has respected Cocoon-actor and beautiful mustache-grower Wilford Brimley. They have legendary-guy-with-deep-voice B.B. King.
And we have Disney-manufactured popster Nick Jonas, one-third of the brotherly trio the Jonas Brothers. He’s 16, he has type 1 diabetes, he writes songs about it (for real, see below), and I think he’s a wee bit dramatic.
“Got the news today,” sings Nick in the Jonas Brothers’ betes-anthem A Little Bit Longer, “but they said I had to stay a little bit longer and I’d be fine.” Here the lyricist lament having to stay in the hospital (probably for a day or two) learning to administer insulin. He continues, “But you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone,” surely refers to a functioning pancreas, which he has just found out he does not possess. The verse ends: “And you don’t know what it’s like to feel so low. And every time you smile or laugh, you glow. You don’t even know, know, no.” He’s right, most non-diabetics do not in fact know what it’s like to feel so hypoglycemic, but what the hell betes side effect causes him to glow? I guess I really just don’t even know, know, no.
(For anyone who might want to hear the lyrics with music and without my comments)
All this was easy to overlook until he became THE FACE of diabetes advocacy last week when he met President Obama (and a bunch of other Washington folk) and spoke at the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee hearing on federal funding for diabetes research.
I appreciate what you’re doing, Nick, really. I’m sure there is a large contingent of teenage girls & boys with diabetes who feel you speak for them. But for the sake of the rest of the diabetic young adults everywhere, let’s work on finding you a more…relatable counterpart.