Stunning, confident, driven are a few words to describe Demi Lovato. This young woman has been in the public eye for years. We have watched her grow as she began her journey on Barney & Friends, As the Bell Rings, and had a starring role on the movie Camp Rock. From there she recorded her single “This Is Me” that landed at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100. Young girls looked up to her as a role model and parents cherished her softness as a star. But what was going on behind the scenes? Growing up, she was being bullied and one day she asked a popular girl at her school, “How do you have all these friends?”
The girl responded with, “Do you party?”
Demi was unclear of what the girl meant and decided to take a path that would change how her peers viewed her. “My first time doing coke (cocaine) I was 17 working on Disney Channel,” Demi Lovato states. She goes on to say that a few friends had introduced her to it. However, she was scared because of how her mother described what could happen to someone who went down that dark path. Recollecting the first time she had tried it, Demi states, “I loved it, I felt out of control with the coke.”
It seemed that substance abuse had been a part of her family history. Her father was an addict and an alcoholic. “I guess I always searched for what he found in drugs and alcohol because it fulfilled him and he chose that over a family,” Lovato states. Demi’s mother doesn’t deny that Demi was, in fact, very sad over the issues with her father. Lovato’s sister, Dallas, remembers their father as a loving person, but when he would be under the influence he turned into a different individual.
“He would rage and yell, and throw things,” Dallas stated in one of her interviews.
“I didn’t know how to handle things,” said Demi’s mother.
“I was depressed at a very, very young age,” Demi replied when asked about her father’s actions. It took her quite some time to realize what was going on and why she was having these dark thoughts.
“She was living two lives. Here she was: she had to be squeaky clean on the Disney Channel, all types of moral clauses and just intensity around behavior, and, once the camera stops rolling, she’s living another life; she couldn’t really be herself,” says Lovato’s manager, Phil McIntyre.
“I definitely felt the pressure when the fame started to creep into my life,” says Demi. She continues to talk about the pressure related to her looks and singing music that soars to a top number on the charts, instead of music she liked. There were many instances that Demi was caught with alcohol, aderall, etc. Her producers and family came together and asked themselves the haunting question: when is it time to give up and cut her from fame? Their answer: “when she stops trying.” They came together to form an intervention and said that they were going to cut her from her contract. She cried and asked what she needed to do. They wanted her phone destroyed first because that was the gateway to past bad influences and drug dealers. She had no issue with this and her phone was in pieces within a few seconds.
During her first year of sobriety she was a judge on the X Factor. While judging she was living in a sober apartment, having to do chores, no cell phone, and was completely committed to the process. “You really have to lean into the people that are trying to support you,” Lovato admitted.
Not only did she suffer from drug addiction, but she also was faced with an eating disorder and heartbreak. With everything stacking up against the young star, it seemed almost impossible to fight her demons. However, Lovato proved herself to be a warrior who should never be underestimated.
Today, she is both singer and philanthropist. Her new album reflects what she has been through not just an artist, but as a human being. Along with her successful music endeavors, Lovato has been a major supporter of body positive movements. She uses her personal experiences to promote men and women embracing their curves and not falling prey to what social media defines as “beautiful.” Demi Lovato deserves the spotlight because everyone needs to be able to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. Today, Demi Lovato is considered one of the most iconic female figures in the music industry. She is a powerful female who breaks the social stigma of curvy women in the entertainment industry. Currently, she is basking in her success once again on her Tell Me You Love Me Tour.