Demi Lovato has become the spokesperson for speaking out about one's troubles. The entertainer has notoriously shared her personal hardships through her songs, charities, interviews, and social media accounts. However, in her latest interview with American Way "This is Me," the pop star surpasses herself, baring her soul to readers.
In recalling the difficulties Demi went through in her early childhood, she attributed the beginning of her problems to her toddler years:
“Even though I was 2 or 3 years old, being around somebody who was 80 pounds and had an active eating disorder … it’s hard not to grow up like that. [. . .] When I was gaining weight because I was becoming a woman, I would look at those images and say to myself, ‘Wait, this is not what I look like. I’m getting fat on the hips and on my butt.’ "
The pop star thinks that in many ways, genetics doomed her from birth, with bipolar disorder and alcoholism on her father's side and bulimia and body issues on her mother's.
"I’m nowhere near having children, but already I ask myself questions. My grandma had bulimia, my mom had it, I had it, and hopefully my kids won’t have it, but it’s kind of like addiction. It’s hereditary.”
In 2007, at the age of 15, Demi Lovato became a Disney superstar overnight with the release of Camp Rock with co-star and now ex-boyfriend Joe Jonas. As her fame began to rise, she noticed other former Disney stars such as Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan fall into a downward spiral. She even blamed Disney for contributing to her insecurities by pressuring her into changing her appearance.
“Making Camp Rock, I was definitely like, ‘Oh crap. In three years, that’s going to be me.’ ”
Sadly, Lovato got quite close, developing alcohol and drug addictions alongside her bipolar disorder, depression, self-harming and bulimia. Being financially independent made it harder to accept discipline from her parents, which only made matters worse...
“I’d say, ‘What are you going to do? I pay the bills! I put my parents in an uncomfortable position. There’s no manual on how to parent a pop star. [. . .] I lived fast and I was going to die young. I didn’t think I would make it to 21.”
Fortunately for Demi, her loved ones, and her millions of Lovatics, the pop star sought the help she needed and worked hard on getting better. In fact, she still pushes through every day, attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and expressing herself in the best ways she knows how.
“So now I’m in rehab, and I thought, ‘Oh great, now the world thinks I’m just another stereotype.’ [. . .] I didn’t go into treatment thinking, ‘OK, now I’m going to be an inspiration.' At times I was resentful for having that kind of responsibility, but now, it’s really become a part of my life. It holds me accountable.”
Embracing that responsibility is something that has changed, and even saved, many of her fans' lives today.
“When I have meet-and-greets, I can’t tell you the amount of times that girls will show me their arms covered in scars or cuts. They’ll tell me, ‘You helped me get through this. Because of you, I stopped self-harming,’ or ‘I got sober.’ Hearing those things gave my life new meaning.”
Demi recently announced she'd no longer remain active on certain social media platforms. However, the combination of her online presence and her song lyrics have provided Demi with countless ways to help people learn to embrace who they are and love themselves.
“The more you talk about mental illness, the less of a taboo it becomes. As a pop star, I can say, ‘Hey, I’ve got bipolar disorder — it’s nothing that anyone can be ashamed of.’
Demi Lovato has certainly had her fair share of challenges and has persevered in every aspect of her life. While fighting your own darkness is a constant struggle, this new Demi has come out stronger, more confident, and an even bigger bad a$s.
Seeking yet another therapeutic outlet through martial arts, the pop star never ceases to stop being an inspiration. If you weren't already a Lovatic before, surely this has helped you develop a newfound respect for the talented Demetria Devonne Lovato.
Let's make this a positive experience by sharing the moment you realized just how much respect this woman deserves.