Pete davidson playboy

It's Probably Time to Leave Pete Davidson Alone

The Saturday Night Live star is getting trolled after splitting from Ariana Grande

David X Prutting/BFA/Shutterstock

People sure are merciful in the summertime. The relative ease of the season signifies the calm before the radioactive storm of fall and winter when all the tragic Oscar contenders unfairly bombard us, testing us to think about the mundanity of humanity. Winter is correlated with cuffing season, sure, but it's also intensely associated with grief. Especially now, in 2018, when amnesty is unrelenting. Not to be "that person" who quotes Shakespeare, but now is and always has been the winter of our discontent—unless I'm misinterpreting the oft-mentioned quote and it has nothing to do with coldest season.

Now, I'm only able to admit that—in full Chris Crocker mode—its time to leave Pete Davidson alone because the pile-on has become so heavy and cantankerous. Davidson's association with summertime leniency is sincere; when Ariana Grande parted ways with the late Mac Miller and opted for the unconventionally hot weirdo, the weather was getting warmer and our tiny brains can't get enough of a good summer caprice. We applauded Grande for following her heart, even if her heart was making a v-line toward someone who social media considered undeserving of his fiancé. I wrote in defense of their whirlwind romance, asserting that maybe the Saturday Night Live star was precisely the person the singer needed to heal, as they'd both experienced inexplicable traumas. And because we only know what Grande wants us to know about her life and relationships, we couldn't judge their engagement in a reliable way—everything was hearsay.

We accepted Davidson for a moment—due in part to his dick size, strangely, which was promulgated by Grande herself on Twitter. Big Dick Energy, considered a brand of unaware confidence that only unassumingly well-endowed men exude, was attributed to Davidson, and went viral. His summer romance with Grande changed him. He practically free-fell into streetwear, abruptly changing out of his typical comedian-on-SNL dad clothes and into BAPE, Thrasher, Supreme, and Pleasures as if he couldn't be caught in public with Grande otherwise (I often think about the stylist he obtained during this time).

His behavior displayed some erraticism as well, tattooing tributes to his new "soulmate" on his body six-times over. While both exes efforts to cover their dedications up have made headlines, a lesser known fact is how typical impulsive tattoos are of someone enduring Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). And Davidson has always been open about his BPD. He told Marc Maron, during his WTF with Marc Maron interview in 2017, that his medications are gradually kicking in and, "I’ve been having a lot of problems. This whole year has been a fucking nightmare. This has been the worst year of my life, getting diagnosed with this and trying to figure out how to learn with this and live with this." For one of the few (I can't think of any others off the top of my head) male celebrities adopting radical honesty when it comes to men's heavily-stigmatized mental health, Davidson was scrutinized for his candor when he called it quits with Cazzie David and entered into a relationship with Grande.
Davidson has been open about his mental illness, suicidal thoughts and the benefits of medication. He's doing precisely what we demand from other celebrities, but instead of supporting him, we've shunned him for his blips in judgment.
In late May 2018, during the outset of the former couple's whirlwind honeymoon phase, Davidson published a Notes-App explanation of his mental illness on Instagram Stories: "Just because someone has a mental illness does not mean they can’t be happy and in a relationship," continuing that he believes "it's fucked up to stigmatize people as crazy and say that they are unable to do stuff that anyone can do. It’s not their fault and it’s the wrong way for people to look at things." In August, the comedian told Variety about his struggles and later addressed critics of his disorder with Howard Stern in September.

Davidson has been open about his mental illness, suicidal thoughts and the benefits of medication. He's doing precisely what we demand from other celebrities,  but instead of supporting him, we've shunned him for his blips in judgment. And following he and Grande's breakup, people on social media have seemingly stopped caring whether he lives or dies. The trolling got so bad that it recently prompted Davidson to post a tragic, honest musing on his persistent role as the online and offline world's favorite new punching bag, saying "I’ve been getting online bullied and in public by people for 9 months. I’ve spoken about BPD and being suicidal publicly only in the hopes that it will help bring awareness and help kids like myself who don’t want to be on this earth."

But then, during his ongoing advocacy for mental health awareness, Davidson was being eschewed for lewd, somewhat infantilizing comments regarding his fiance's fame and sexuality. In July, he joked about the Manchester Bombing at Grande's concert, wantonly emphasizing Grande's fame levels by quipping that "Britney Spears didn't have a terror attack at her concert." The pop star reportedly, and naturally, did not find it funny. And following Miller's abrupt and heartbreaking passing, Davidson's commentary regarding Grande became straight-up irredeemable when—in the aforementioned Howard Stern interview—the comedian asserted he'd never been prouder in reference to Bill Clinton ogling his fiancé during Aretha Franklin's funeral.
We love to love celebrities when they're up and we love to hate them when they're down. Davidson is down. So, we'll all kick him.
Even more critical, he stated he sympathized with the funeral bishop's obviously undesired swiping of Grande's bare skin and breasts. Davidson also allegedly "comforted" Grande by telling her she's so hot she's not even safe from the male-gaze at funerals, as though that's reassuring. When these comments went viral on Twitter, the glass house Davidson had unknowingly been residing in (under the guise of the $16 million New York City apartment he shared with his fiancé) fragmented before our eyes. Grande, clearly grieving, sent a series of tweets begging for "just one okay day," and stressing how tired she felt in the wake of her ex-boyfriend's passing. The internet took this to be code for "Pete is the problem," but I think it's more complicated than that.

The castle Davidson built for himself—structured around his über hot, über famous fiancé—disintegrated within months, summer to winter, with social media playing a huge role in determining his recall from society. The reason is pretty simple: we love to love celebrities when they're up and we love to hate them when they're down. Davidson is down. So, we'll all kick him. Public perception is the greatest indicator of how a random person—who doesn't really care that much—will treat the situation, and Davidson has been labeled unfunny, unattractive, and too mentally ill to hold relationships. Find enough of those random people who don't really care that much and they'll hive-mind on social media and tell Davidson to kill himself, blaming him (and Ariana) for Miller's death.

The people in comment sections telling Davidson he should kill himself don't actually care; they see celebrities as flattened forms of entertainment. Celebrities are as two dimensional as it gets to some people, who will never encounter or see them in public. But for strangers to wish suicide on a dude who is undeniably defeated because they think he's corny is gross, weak, and unacceptable. Davidson's recent statement on his bullying and mental illness concluded with "I just want you guys to know. No matter how hard the internet or anyone tries to make me kill myself. I won't."
What people don't know and may never know are the circumstances of Davidson and Grande's breakup. What's apparent is that Grande "irrevocably" loves Davidson (that means forever), has apologized for "dipping" in her music video and likely in real life, and wants her audience to stop attacking him, as she recently publicized on her own social media (though we did learn Davidson has blocked her as part of his own healing process). The pop star can also do whatever she wants and remain at the top—benefiting from their breakup with a song and video that were both teased for months on social media and eventually became the most viewed YouTube video in 24 hours.

"Thank u, next" was allegedly written by Ariana after a bad day in New York City. Then five other people—most of whom are known for creating bangers—helped write it. Grande was able to process her trauma by singing about not only Davidson, but also Miller and previous beaus like Big Sean. You can vividly see the sadness she exhibits during her early November performance on Ellen, where she sang ‘'thank u, next" through tears. To me, Grande's displays of emotion are not performative, but intensely authentic; you can tell she's grieving hard and striving to heal. But I couldn't help but feel a tinge of guilt that her comedian ex was all but banned from joking about their breakup on SNL, jokes obviously being the way he expresses himself and manages his traumas. Hell, he's been joking about his father dying during 9/11 for so long and it's clear his dad meant plenty to him. What doesn't seem to be clear to spectators is how Davidson copes, and how tacky his coping mechanism may be.

He has always been a clown, openly barely coping with his life as we do with our own. He's a comedian, after all. It often seems (to me, at least) that if I wasn't able to joke about my own traumas, I'd simply give up and die. We joke—often inappropriately—when we feel scared, heartbroken, or helpless. It's a double-edged sword for me: my favorite and worst coping mechanism. Davidson was likely always aware of what little power he had in his relationship with Grande, and his relationship to the world observing it, so he joked… and joked… and joked, often tastelessly.

And perhaps, subconsciously, he always knew it would somehow all fall apart for him. Still, the only thing tackier than Davidson's jokes is telling a suicidal man with BPD to kill himself, to the point where it's so out of control he feels he needs to publicly address it. It's 2018 and we live in a neverending hellscape of sexual assault allegations, so you'd think we'd be able to pick and choose our allies without demanding absolute maturity from them.

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