When pop star Ariana Grande recently postponed her world tour due to a severe allergic reaction to tomatoes, a wave of empathy and validation washed over the food allergy community. “Wow. Even her, too?”
Three things happen for us when a celebrity opens up about a diagnosis and shares the fact of their food allergies with us.
First, they help to destigmatize food allergies and intolerances. The condition becomes more visible and relatable. Suddenly, we see our friends and family changing their attitudes toward our condition, and even toward us.
Second, we feel more hopeful and inspired in our own life. Knowing that a celebrity is facing the same day-to-day struggles we do, all while under the glare of stardom, we are more endeared toward them. We especially feel a connection when they use their voice to bring visibility to food allergies.
Finally, we feel empowered by the will of celebrities to step forward and take control of the narrative about their allergies under intense media scrutiny. When they show the world what it means to live with food allergies, they offer a roadmap and inspire confidence for how we might do the same.
Whether famous or not, the public acknowledgment of one’s condition is a brave act in the face of the stigma of food allergies. As food allergy awareness spreads, acceptance soon follows.
Is there a notable person who has inspired you? How do you feel about celebrities discussing their condition? Share in the comments below or post on MyFoodAllergyTeam.