As many younger siblings can attest, it can be hard to be compared to older siblings and constantly feel like you’re in their shadow. For Frankie Jonas, this feeling was intensified by the fact that all three of his older siblings were extremely famous growing up. Together, Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas, and Nick Jonas formed the Jonas Brothers. The band was wildly popular in the early to mid-2000s and recently made a comeback in 2019.
Since Frankie is a great deal younger than his brothers (there are eight years between him and Nick and 13 between him and Kevin) he was not a member of the Jonas Brothers. In fact, many fans of the “Sucker” artists didn’t realize that the musicians had another sibling when they first became popular. However, once they learned about Frankie they quickly dubbed him the “bonus Jonas.”
Frankie Jonas hated being called the ‘bonus Jonas’
While some Jonas Brothers fans nicknamed Frankie “bonus Jonas” affectionately, the moniker did a number on the 20-year-old’s self-esteem growing up. “I always hated that nickname,” Frankie revealed in a recent interview with Bustle. “A lot of my problem with being in the public eye was that I was seen as this commodified vision of myself.”
The TikTok star received criticism at a very young age
It didn’t help that many people took the “bonus Jonas” nickname as an opportunity to write disparaging comments about Frankie on social media. The TikTok star recalls reading terrible comments about himself and his appearance at a very young and having that be extremely damaging to his mental health. “I was this joke, and my entire identity to people was ‘adjacent,’ which really affected myself and the way that I thought about the world and the way I felt about myself,” he declared.
Noah Cyrus received similar treatment to Frankie Jonas
Of course, Frankie wasn’t the only sibling of a Disney star to suffer this kind of abuse. Noah Cyrus (who is the younger sister of Miley Cyrus) has also been candid about the fact that she was treated very poorly by the media while growing up. Critics on the Internet and even tabloids would often tear her apart for her appearance and constantly compare her to Miley. In fact, even after Noah became a well-respected singer in her own right, releasing songs like “July” and “Again”, she is often still referred to as “Miley’s little sister.”
Fortunately, when Frankie expressed how he felt about the “bonus Jonas” nickname to his brothers, they were supportive. “I refused to call Frankie ‘Bonus Jonas’ after he opened up to me about how that was hurtful to him,” Joe revealed in the aforementioned interview. “It completely makes sense, and we’ve had lengthy conversations and apologies behind closed doors that showcased my understanding and respect for his wishes. I think to feel like you are second, third, or fourth best from something is unfair; we are all equals.”
Frankie has found his own lane outside of the Jonas Brothers fame
Additionally, Frankie has found his own lane in the entertainment world that is completely independent of the Jonas Brothers. Today, he boasts nearly 2 million followers on TikTok and keeps them entertained with his real and raw comedic talents. The platform has given him a sense of agency and individuality that he loves.
“I was just making jokes, thinking no one was hearing them,” Frankie shared about how he got started on TikTok. “And then people heard them and liked them. I thought, ‘I’m going to continue to do this,’ because I’ve never had my thing really. This feels like so much of my thing. It feels so empowering to have a thing.”
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