The Jonas Brothers have grown up a lot during their six-year hiatus, but that doesn't mean they don't remember how rough it was when they were in school. While accepting the Decade Award at the 2019 Teen Choice Awards on Sunday (August 11), Nick and Kevin opened up about their own experiences with bullying, explaining that the things they got teased for were actually the same things that opened doors for them in the industry.
For Kevin, it was his frosted tips — a hair trend that many '90s kids sported at least once. Unfortunately, the look earned him the nickname "piss head," and it really messed with his self-confidence. "I started to hate to go to school, I started to hate my hair, I started to hate myself," he said. But when he went on an acting audition for an AT&T advertisement, his hair turned out to be one of the main reasons he was hired. "The same haircut that got me called piss head was what started my actual career," he said. "And it's also the reason I'm standing on this stage receiving this award today."
Unlike Kevin, Nick wasn't bullied by his classmates, but by his teachers. "I loved music, and at an early age I was lucky enough to land a role performing in Broadway shows," he said. "So my teachers felt it was their job to keep me in my place by singling me out and giving me a bit harsher treatment than everyone else." He even recalled one particular instance when he was told to "stop drawing attention" to himself on his birthday. "I had enough self-doubt as it was," he said. "... But if I had stopped what I was doing as of that moment, or any of the other things that happened in school, I wouldn't be here today receiving this award."
So why did Kevin and Nick choose to share these very personal stories while accepting the Decade Award at the TCAs? In addition to their first-ever award being a Teen Choice Award, their stories are a necessary reminder that the things that make us different should be celebrated, not mocked. "I think it's most important that we share with you that those things that you feel like you're singled out about, you're bullied about, that define you in your teen years, can become the thing that make you special," Nick said. "It's your gift. It's your power." Consider us inspired.