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Ariana Grande's Defense of Pete Davidson's 'Butthole Eyes' Highlights the Opposite of ‘But You Don’t Look Sick’


Ariana Grande made news on Friday following her defense of Pete Davidson. Grande stood up for her boyfriend on Twitter, pointing out his Crohn’s disease diagnosis, following an inflammatory article published on Barstool Sports titled, “Does Pete Davidson Have Butthole Eyes”?

“Y’all do kno this man has an auto immune disease …… right ? ….. like you do understand what you’re doing when u do this right ? jus wanna make sure.”

In response to the outcry following Grande’s tweet, the author of the original blog post, who goes by Uncle Chaps, minimized Davidson’s diagnosis, citing his own gastrointestinal issues.

“I’ve had diarrhea for a decade,” he said. “When Pete can compare, I’m willing to listen to his gripes. Until he wipes his eyes until they sting, he can zip it.”

Davidson revealed his Crohn’s disease diagnosis in 2016. The illness, which is a type of inflammatory bowel disease, causes symptoms such as persistent diarrhea, severe constipation, abdominal cramps, pain and rectal bleeding. It can also cause fever, weight loss, fatigue and loss of appetite. In some cases, it can lead to eye complications, though it’s typically not associated with pigment discoloration around the eyes.

Those living with a chronic illness took to social media to point out that the appearance of Davidson’s eyes could be caused by other side effects of many chronic illnesses such as medication or even dehydration.

Others said that Davidson’s illness explained why he looks “sick” or “tired” or “bad” or “unhealthy.”

Grande’s defense of Davidson inadvertently opened up the opposite of “But you don’t look sick.” The resulting response online highlights why it’s never helpful to comment on how someone’s appearance may reflect their health condition. It’s no more validating for a person to be told how “sick” they look as opposed to how “well” they appear. Mighty contributor C.M. breaks this down in her piece, “Please Stop Telling Me How Sick I Look“:

You would think I would be grateful for looking sick right now since many chronic illness warriors often look “normal” and this is usually one of our biggest complaints. We look seemingly normal to everyone, though we may be suffering daily. I would have thought I would be grateful that I finally look the part I have been playing for 12 years, but I’m not. Right now, I would give almost anything to hear that I don’t look sick, to fade back into the “normalcy” that was my life pre-heart condition. Because for once in my life, I feel so sick but I also look the part.

“Your comments telling me I look unwell are unnecessary and unneeded,” C.M. added. “Unless they are followed by a suggestion or offer of rest and respite, there is no constructive use in you telling me how sick I look.”

Header image via Ariana Grande’s Instagram.