When Starbucks revealed their new Unicorn Frappuccino in April of 2017, I was intrigued. The drink was so pretty and had a flavor I really liked. I was pretty jazzed about the whole thing until I saw this image come across my Facebook feed.
A friend on Facebook (we weren’t close IRL) shared this to poke fun at the drink. Wilford Brimley, a prominent type 2 diabetic actor, photoshopped onto a person dressed up as a unicorn, holding the drink and saying diabetes how he pronounces it. I was devastated, to say the least.
Diabetics constantly deal with being made fun of and stereotyped in mainstream culture. We have so many negative stereotypes associated with our disease, and it’s really harmful that they are continuously spread.
Not all diabetics are fat. Diabetes isn’t caused by eating sugary foods and drinking soda. Yes, we can have candy and sweet treats. We deal with a life-threatening illness every day of our lives. Some of the strongest people I know are diabetics. Diabetics go through a mental workout every single day, trying to keep ourselves alive, just for someone to laugh at us because our disease is “funny”.
Let’s use this Diabetes Awareness Month to better educate ourselves and those around us. I love when people ask me questions about diabetes because I can use the opportunity to break down some of the stereotypes surrounding diabetes. We don’t make fun of other diseases, so why is it ok to make fun of diabetes?