This week’s woman of the week is somebody I have looked up to for a really long time, Demi Lovato. Not only is she a fantastic singer, but she is also a great role model to girls everywhere for her advocacy for a healthy body image and lifestyle.
Demi’s first experience in the spotlight was when she was only 7 years old, starring on the show “Barney and Friends” alongside Selena Gomez. When she was about 12 Demi started experiencing extreme bullying from some of her classmates, saying in one interview, “They called me a whore and told me I was fat and ugly. I shouldn’t have listened, but I took it to heart and it hurt. I thought maybe I didn’t have friends because I was too fat”. She began to cut her wrists and binge/purge as a way to cope with the bullying and her own emotions, and at the end of seventh grade left public school to be homeschooled instead.
Demi’s true rise to fame came with the Disney film “Camp Rock” in 2008, in which she starred alongside the Jonas Brothers. She then became the star of her own Disney television series, “Sonny With A Chance”, released her own album “Don’t Forget”, and was the opening act of the Jonas Brothers’ world tour.
As she came under the scrutiny of the public eye, Lovato notes that she would read the comments of strangers on her videos who called her fat, and would take all of the negative comments to heart. She became increasingly involved in the use of drugs, alcohol, and binging and purging all before even turning 18.
A couple of months after her 18th birthday in 2010, while on tour with the Jonas Brothers, Demi suddenly checked into treatment after punching a backup dancer in the face after he informed managers of Lovato’s “inappropriate behavior” from the night before. Lovato had checked into a rehabilitation facility, where she was treated for bulimia and self-injury while also being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Since then, Demi hasn’t pushed her struggles under the rug and pretended like everything was perfect as many other celebrities do, but instead she’s opened up about her eating disorder and continues to be a voice against bullying and society’s obsession with being thin. This past March she released a documentary on MTV titled “Stay Strong” in which she experiences her first Thanksgiving home since treatment and explains what it’s like to be struggling with an eating disorder.
The first music video she released since treatment was titled “Skyscraper”, and still remains an incredibly inspiring song for me and many other people recovering from eating disorders or other self-esteem issues. Since then she has become a worldwide household name with the #1 single “Give Your Heart A Break” and as a judge alongside Simon Cowell and Britney Spears on The X Factor.
Through her music, anti-bullying campaigns, and tv/magazine interviews, Demi Lovato continues to be one of the most positive influences in Hollywood, and completely deserves all of the success coming her way.
Click below to watch the music video for “Skyscraper” – I promise you’ll be amazed!
Watch Demi’s documentary, “Stay Strong”, to understand what it’s like to recover from an eating disorder: