Compelling Excerpts

“Looking at diabetes as disability calls for us to reimagine two main areas. First, theorizing diabetes as disability allows us to embrace disability notions of embodiment, care, and cure. … Secondly, theorizing diabetes as disability calls us to critically situate the lived experiences of diabetes as an impairment against the disabling socio-political and cultural representations that sustain it as stigmatized and spoiled identity. Thinking through depictions of diabetes in and as disability invites readers to consider ableism as a dynamic in these representations

–Bianca C Frazer & Heather R. Walker, Introduction

“The lack of diversity in representation only re-enforces damaging stereotypes. It is possible to display scenes where characters are counting carbs and taking insulin or oral medication for the soul food dinner on Sunday. If these types of changes are embraced in film and TV, a new diabetes narrative can be created and, in time, no one newly diagnosed with diabetes would utter, “I’m going to die” as their first words—as I did when I was first diagnosed.”

–Phyllisa Deroze, Laughing to Keep from Dying: Black Americans with Diabetes in Sitcoms and Comedies

“The numbers we collect and calculate on a daily basis are more than remote abstractions dwelling in a realm apart from the experiential aspects of diabetes. For many people with diabetes, numbers have complex physical, emotional, and affective registers developed through years of hourly engagement with them.”

–Samuel Thulin, Diabetic Data Art: Numbers Beyond Control

“Primary care doctors and diabetes educators presented insulin to me as a consequence of mismanagement – not as a helpful option for my body. Some would say, “I don’t want to put you on insulin yet because I know you can manage this with diet and exercise.” For medical experts to use my body’s need for insulin as a threat goes hand in hand with food shame. They think that if only I ate better, I would not need insulin.”

–Mila Clarke Buckley, The Blame and Shame Game: Transforming Medical and Social Interactions