Demi Lovato on sharing her story: ‘girls show me their arms covered in scars’

I’ve half paid attention to Demi Lovato over the past ten years I’ve been running this blog. Bedhead used to cover Lovato all the time so I’m not as familiar with her early interviews, but I do know that she’s talked quite a bit about her eating disorder and about her battle with substance addiction. That’s putting it lightly, because Lovato always seems to bring up those topics. I get that she wants to raise awareness, and I also applaud her for being open about her struggle with bipolar disorder. So I didn’t know that Lovato’s mother had an eating disorder when she was raising her, but she’s talked about it before. In her new interview with American Way Magazine, the inflight magazine for American Airlines, Demi talks about her mom’s eating disorder, about her substance abuse issues and how that became a platform for her to reach out to others. She also opens up about the fact that her parents had a hard time telling her what to do when she needed discipline because she was earning all the money for the family. Plus I learned that she used to compete in child beauty pageants. It’s a wide-ranging interview.

Also, remember how Demi said she was quitting Twitter and Instagram? That lasted a day. She predictably could not stay away. Here’s some of what she told American Airlines:

On her stint in rehab
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.

On how Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan’s issues foreshadowed her own.
Making Camp Rock [in 2007] I was definitely like, ‘Oh crap. In three years, that’s going to be me.’

How her mom’s eating disorder affected her
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.

She competed in beauty pageants from ages 7-12
We had to do these interviews, even as 7-year-olds. They made me more articulate than I might have been, and when I started auditioning, it really came in handy. My body-image awareness started way before that, but I do attribute a little of my insecurities to being onstage and judged for my beauty.

On being negatively affected by magazine images around 12
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.’

Her mom tried to stop her from partying as a teen but couldn’t
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.

As a teen she was taking oxycontin, doing cocaine and drinking
I lived fast and I was going to die young. I didn’t think I would make it to 21.

She still goes to AA meetings
[At her last meeting] There were two guys who had just gotten out of prison for murder. There was a Valley girl you’d never guess would have addiction issues. There was me — the pop star — and a Russian businessman. At the end of the meeting, we all held hands and prayed.

On going public with her bipolar disorder
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.’

Fans have credited her with helping them get sober
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.

[American Way Magazine via The Daily Mail]

As much as Demi can bug, she does put important messages out there, and there’s something admirably brave about how open she is. I also like how she explained that she used to compare herself to magazine images as a kid. Even those tiny models don’t look like that, they’re photoshopped to look like dolls, but it still hurts impressionable kids. I like this trend of using larger and more average-size models and I hope it helps kids to see more body types represented. I also think Demi does a good job walking the walk, these are the issues she cares about and she’ll tell you about them. Now if only she could get off Twitter for a while, for her own good.

#FBF to the first day of summer with @newyorkcolorcan!! ☀️🌴😎

A photo posted by Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) on

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9 Responses to “Demi Lovato on sharing her story: ‘girls show me their arms covered in scars’”

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  1. Erinn says:

    The problem that I have with Demi is that whenever anyone gives her heat for the dumb crap she does she’s pulls the ‘but look what I do for mental illness awareness!’ card. It’s as if she thinks she’s untouchable because she DOES do some good. But she seems to forget that just because she does good doesn’t mean that other things she does are idiotic.

    • Flowetchild says:

      Is think it’s more of a “I have/had some mental illness so I should get a pass for all the dumb sh*t I do and say” all the while she judging others for the same behavior and acting like she better then them.

    • InvaderTak says:


  2. Jensies says:

    She bugs, but her skin is CRAZY. I realize she’s a young’un but it actually glows. So good job on that.

    In other news, I really wish more celebrities would go to college, in part so they could get more interesting and varied talking points.

    • detritus says:

      I just came to comment on her skin and eyebrows.
      Her skin looks phenomenal and those eyebrows, I wish I didn’t kill mine in the 90s.

      I agree about the Uni comment too. I think it broadens their world a little and exposes them to a different type of person. They are also less likely to sound like complete twats.

  3. Cdoggy says:

    Unless it’s her telling her story about that time she busted her ass while performing on top of a swimming pool, I don’t care.

    Go away now.

  4. Cdoggy says:

    And I just LOVE how she calls herself a “pop star”… Three times. Girl, please.

  5. claire says:

    It’s irritating how much teens will prop up a person with such a horrid personality. And make excuses for them. They idolize these people who have no accountability. Justin, Demi…the list goes on and on. They’re not role models.

  6. Llamas says:

    Since when did she do oxy? She adds in new details every time she opens her mouth.