Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato Brings the Quote of the Day

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Celebrities should talk about eating disorders: “I was about 12 or 13 when I developed my eating disorder, and at that time nobody in the public eye talked about their body issues. I feel that if someone had admitted they had a problem, then I wouldn’t have gone down that route myself. That’s my goal in talking about my problems. I want to be the person for other girls that I needed to admire when I was looking for help and strength. It’s okay to love your body the way it is and it’s okay to reach out for help if you have drug and alcohol problems, or if you’re self-harming or being bullied.”

… says Demi in Cosmopolitan UK.

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  • Rose

    Wise words. I admire her for being so honest and open-I personally recovered from an eating disorder about two years ago and still find it extremely difficult to talk about.

  • Andrea

    The freckles are so cute

    • ebby

      didn’t know she had freckles. she should let them show. she doesn’t need all the heavy makeup. she’s beautiful

    • Loxy

      Yes her freckles are beautiful. I love the lighting, make up, style of the first and last shots….can’t say the same for the cover :S

    • JaneParker

      Yay for freckles! 🙂 she looks good at this weight, and more importantly she looks happy. I don’t have anything bad to say about her.

    • hanan

      i though only pale people get freakles !
      but yeah it’s cute

  • Casey

    This is not going to be a popular opinion, but as someone who works in mental health, I feel the opposite.

    I feel that celebrities should only talk about eating disorders if it was something really significant for them and they really feel the need to say something (not to say eating orders aren’t significant for everyone…but there’s a difference between struggling for a couple of months or even just restrictive dieting which you are calling an eating disorder, and something that is more ongoing and hugely affects your life).

    The reality is, whether we want to admit it or not, all of these celebrities talking about eating disorders makes younger girls copy them. Even if they don’t have/develop the full blown eating disorders, they do spend a period of their time emulating the symptoms of those disorders.

    I don’t know why it happens, I don’t know why they would. Maybe it’s curiousity. Maybe it’s desperation (trying to control some aspect of their life. Maybe it’s calling for attention.

    Whatever the reason for it, it happens. Celebrities talking about eating disorders popularizes them. Just like with cutting. Just like with school shootings.

    Demi may give strength to 3 girls, but she made 10 new ones want to try it.

    • wendy

      i agree. when i was younger, i would try to emulate celebrities. even if you know what they’re doing is harmful to their bodies, they look good doing it, and i want to look good no?

    • jay-lisa

      I agree with you too

    • Mara

      Yep. So many celebrities who open up about their eating disorders are worshipped as thinspiration on pro ana websites and torn apart when they gain weight.

    • I agree completely Casey. I self-harmed as a teenager as a direct result of admiring a celebrity who openly did the same – he made it look cool and almost glamorous (even though now as an adult I would find it sad and grotesque) and gave me the idea in the first place.

      I think for many of us as teenagers, no matter how bright we were/thought we were, we are incredibly vulnerable to influence, both good and bad. Anything can look cool when someone you admire does it – smoking, binge-drinking, casual sex, drugs, self-harm, disordered eating, etc. Talking about it makes sense maybe when you are an adult and have been through an experience yourself – then you can get comfort maybe from reading someone else’s struggle because you know how destructive it was – but for a young person who has little experience of life in general, it’s virtually impossible to see the end result of your actions.

      All I know is, if I hadn’t read about that rock star self-harming, I would not have known it was something people did and it most likely would never have crossed my mind to do it to ‘deal’ with my own anxiety and depression. So, I think talking about these problems may often do more harm than good. I think it’s especially true of eating disorders, which can look so ‘normal’ and attractive because of how much praise is given to being thin in our society.

      • Casey

        Well said Erica. You definetly added to what I was trying to say.

        I guess that’s the issue. We obviously want those suffering from eating disorders to not feel like they are alone, and we want to make them feel like someone understands and that there is hope.

        But is there a way of doing that without the downside, which is that new girls will now be experimenting with this?

        I wish I had an answer to that, but sadly I don’t know if there is one.

        • snoops

          I agree, I mean not to say they should deny the problem exists or even that they have struggled, but they should not go into details or specifics as it can lead to copy cat behaviour. Detailed autobiographies deqling with EDslike for example that or marya hornbacher (who is not a celebrity) can become like an instruction manual to some girls, so if its a celebrity they admire and consider someone to look up to going into
          detail….well you see my point.

          • Soph

            Yeah exactly. I thought the same about Portia de Rossi. I think she was irresponsible and shared too much.

    • amber

      Accurate. Its very important to distinguish disordered eating from eating disorders. I dont want to discredit Demi or claim some knowledge of what she had, but I’ve spent a lot of time with people who suffer from eating and can attest to the fact that while they may admire and emulate celebrities, celebrities didnt give them an eating disorder (ideas, motivation, and idols to admire, but not the actual mental disorder). With that, having one or two or even fifteen celebrities

      • amber

        celebrities talk about what they went through isn’t going to make a damned bit of difference when people can’t stop despite their wives, mothers, husbands, sisters, best friends, etc, begging them to try. And I think, unintentionally, she comes across as very shallow for thinking so.

        I do, however, think celebrities talking about their recoveries (not the gory details of their illnesses) might be very helpful to people also undergoing recovery.

    • Lisa

      That’s how I feel. People say you can’t qualify or quantify experiences, well, in a way, you can. Kelly Clarkson saying she was bulimic for a month before her friend found out and put an end to it (persuasive friend!) does not count next to the woman who hides it for years. If they knew what people with eating disorders faced on a daily basis, they’d never even utter the words again,

  • mar-sol

    so pretty and fresh! =)

  • Jenn

    Why does your nose look a totally different shape in the middle (cover) shot than the other two?

    • Mara

      Because photoshop.

    • Loxy

      Grrrr why would they do that? take the time and effort to make her look worse? I don’t get it… her real nose is so cute.

    • La la la la

      i totally agree. i think they shopped her nose really badly on the cover and almost made her look a bit witchy. she’s so cute naturally! btw her freckles are great

  • Jenn

    *her, not your

  • Sassy

    As someone who is struggling daily with anorexia and had been in and out of residential programs for the past 8 years I have such a hard time believing anything she says. I don’t know a single person who talks about their eating disorder so much and who left treatment and recovered so fast pike she has. I think she’s an attentive an attention shore and thrives on it. I’m over her..

    • Nina

      I feel exactly the same way about her. Although I’m sure that some of what she says is sincere, she strikes me as a COMPLETE attentionwhore. She also strikes me as fake. For example, she always complains about how she was bullied but I see her as someone who probably was quite the bully herself. I know this type of girl when I see one.

    • Anastasia.

      Agree. I don’t really believe that these celebs including Demi, are truly anorexic/bulimic…..they are just jumping on the eating disorders bandwagon. Most probably have drug issues if anything, but no one wants to talk about that.

    • Lisa

      If you truly have one, you go to lengths to hide it, not talk about it! Even someone like Tracy Gold watches what she says, and she speaks out against them.

  • Sassy

    If she wants to make an impact in the eating disorder world she should shut her mouth and start getting involved with eatind disorder insurance legislation and NEDA. She preaches about eating disorders but I’m curious if she actually donates any money to causes

    • Powwow

      Maybe she has?

      • Sassy

        Dont you think she wouod be talking about it?

        • Powwow

          Maybe not, because then people would undoubtedly attack her for bragging about giving to charity.
          I don’t follow her, so I don’t know whether she has or has not given to charity but she obviously thinks this is an important issue so it makes more sense to assume that she has.

  • Lene

    sorry, but I’m sick of her talking about her eating disorder.. feels like this is more of a way to stay relevant in the media, than anything else. and by the way, ever heard of Karen Carpenter and Princess Diana?!

  • roonie

    I have disordered eating as well, its been at least three years, and although Demi doesn’t really inspire me I’m not bothered about her talking about her own issues and trying to help others. She looks good at this weight, she carries it well but I wouldn’t feel comfortable being that size. I love her freckles!! Never noticed them before.

  • CK

    i’m on the fence about this,from one side it is good when a celeb admits to have smth that everyone knows exists but makes us too uncomfortable to talk about or is still strongly attached to old and wrongful stereotypes and labels in people’s minds so its only hushed about. Speaking bout smth like EDs and other mental disorders could make it easier for people who suffer from it cos the more attention it is given in smth so global as media the faster it becomes more of just another serious issue we need to learn to accept and treat rather than smth dooming, and its’ll be easier to admit(realize) having it for some folks and (or) seek and get help if (when) it’s suspected (cos a lot of this stuff IS treatable). HOWEVER, am afraid a celeb talking bout that can easily make things worse (aside from it becoming a trend others never-suffered celebs use for attention), like their fans will only read their interviews and assume that smth like bipolar is what this celeb describes as experiencing, but in reality mental disorders come in as many shades and colors as the number of people on this planet, cos we may all have more things in common when it comes to problems with physical health (and even then there are always differences) but mental health is much more complex,cos it involves everything about a certain individual on too many incredibly intricate, intimate and deep levels.not to mention that media will only take certain phrases/words out of context (prob cos this interv. are made for entertaining mags not serious papers or smth, anything for a catchy headline!!) and people will be stuck with calling someone who’s very thin “anorexic” or someone with “goth phase” “depressive”.look what happened for with EDs, yeah the wide coverage did help more people get help but it also hurt a lot, cos for majority the definition of them is still the superficial one – “it’s just an addiction to food” but those who made an effort to learn more before using such words/judgements know that EDs are mental disorders where food is only an Object not the Subject of the condition.I mean even adults make wrong connections lots of times or accept the one celeb definition of this disorder let alone teens that are more into celebrity idolization, like “celeb X was overweight/too skinny=talked ED, she hit someone=talked bipolar, problems w. alcohol or drugs=talked self-harm”and in reality the whole definition can be bigger than the universe (like term self-harm can be also bout intent.harming your body, smth that causes tissue damage, not only overuse of toxic subst). i also have had disordered eating, 2 major depressions and am bipolar and had (still struggle) with self-harm, but am sure my experiences are very diff from anyone with same problems, but am afraid the amount of info from everywhere the whole day, plus stress, personal problems etc- all that makes US choose to be simple-minded and see the world/problem in a black ‘n’ white thoroughly-chewed-one-sentence definition given by the media, so i guess the outcome of celebrities bringing up smth so serious like this depends not only on how they talk bout (i.e. in general not only personal experience) it and what they Do to help shed a light on problem but also OUR mind openness and willingness to learn more and actually accept it as smth “normal or usual”.

    • Lisa

      Yep. When the approach is wrong, the solution can’t be right.

  • Tally

    So because she had these ED issues, is it too harsh 4 me 2 say everytime i c her i think she would look great if she lost 10-15 ? I think she is very beautiul, skin, hair& shape, and maybe she is in no position to try & lose weight, but i just want to be honest.

    • Soph

      You ‘just want to be honest’? Please. No one needs your honesty if its a toxic message to post, which is certainly is.

  • Chelsea

    I love her. Her MTV special was the best thing I ever watched on tv. She is just so relatable. I have a binge eating disorder, and I can just connect so well her. I believe she was put on this earth for teenage girls like me. This girl is truly beautiful inside and out. Anyways, I like her hair in darker shades (either brown or black hair). I hope she goes far in life.

  • babyvincer

    I think it’s great that she voices her struggles. She admits its a lifelong illness and battle. With bulimia there is so much hiding and shame involved. If you admit the problem, stop feeling ashamed, and stop concealing what’s going on, then that opens the door for people you to get treatment and to support in overcoming the disease. I think there are many women young and old dealing with this issue, but nobody will admit it or talk about it. She is wiling to break that mold.

  • lc

    It’s all she EVER talks about.

  • serena

    I disagree with Demi, reaching out for helps is the worst thing you can do as a teen. I ended up homeless at 17 for a couple months and it was the scariest, worst experience. None of the people who were supposed to help did anything but make assumptions about me, especially social workers (like I was on drugs even though I never was and tested clean!). Well f*ck all of them…I bet they’d be shocked that now at 22 I’m a scholarship student at an elite college and work in healthcare myself. It’s easy to reach out for help if you’re a millionaire disney kid with loads of resources I guess. No offense to Demi, I hardly dislike her.

    • Sassy

      That’s exactly what I said above. She has the money and resources but the reality of eating disorders are that many health insurance providers don’t provide you with covered treatment. I’ve been in and out of treatment centers and now have 50k of health bills sitting under me with no full time job to pay them. She should focus her energy on things like legislation and helping things like NEDA. Eating disorders is the worst mental illness but we don’t have resources to get help.

      • serena

        Sassy I don’t want to make this too personal, but it’s not fair to say eating disorders are “the worst” problem because I work in a hospital and I’ve seen worse things every day; the mortality rate for ED is way less and the recovery rate a lot higher than many issues. But anyway I agree you there need to be more affordable resources. 50k of health bills is ridiculous, especially for a young person.

        • Sassy

          Look it up sweetie. Worst mental illness out there are eating disorders. you are more then welcome to look it up. I didn’t just oulo that out of my ass.

          • serena

            You sound extremely sheltered; your opinion is not a fact. Eating disorders are common in wealthy nations and fairly treatable. Look how many people on this blog have one! Compare that to a debilitating mental illness like schizophrenia, the sufferers of which have hallucinations and permanet cognitive impairment – millions are homeless and unable to live normal lives with jobs. There are thousands of “pro-ana” sites and no “pro-schizo” sites for a reason. But what is “worse” is a matter of opinion – it’s like asking which kind of cancer is worse, there are many factors to consider. No offense but I’m not interested in arguing with some anorexic girl on the internet – I’m not exactly a shrink!

          • serena

            And telling me to “look it up” makes no sense: do you think there is an official medical list of “worst diseases” out there and ED are ranked #1 or something? You are confusing opinions with fact. Maybe instead of attacking me on a gossip site you should get a job to pay off your $50,000 in bills.

          • Nika

            Actually, as someone in the field of clinical psychology, schizophrenia is considered the worst and most feared disorder.
            That being said, they are all problems and individuals suffer with them to varying extents. It’s not fair to underestimate anyone else’s problems and pass them off with the thought, “oh, other people have worst problems.”
            Just thought I’d share this view. No offense intended to anyone.

          • Casey

            I too am in the field of psychology, and as Nika said, schizophrenia is considered to be the worst mental illness. It’s terrifying as an outsider to watch a person having an attack, I can’t even begin to imagine what the person must be experiencing.

            Of course, asking about which mental illness is the worst is like arguing which cancer you’d rather have. Mental illnesses by definition are debilitating conditions that decrease your quality of life and your ability to function.

            But there is nothing quite as horrid as schizophrenia.

          • lex

            I agree with Nika, Serena, and Casey. I have OCD and sometimes I see things that aren’t there when my anxiety is extremely high. I asked my psychologist if these things that I was seeing were a symptom of schizophrenia. She assured me that the things I was seeing were a common symptom to people with OCD. She then told me that I was fortunate that I had OCD and not schizophrenia as schizophrenia is worst mental illness anyone could have. I’ve read the DSM description of schizophrenia. It seems like one awful mental illness to have.

  • La la la la

    i agree with most of y’all. when i was younger i had some destructive curiosities about how to be anorexic or bulimic and went online looking for tips. i’d say like around 1999 is when i was looking for this info. at that time, that kind of information wasn’t easily found on the web and i never ended up developing a disorder (not only bc i couldn’t find tips but it definitely played a role). if i heard about what NOT to do from celebs like demi, i think i would have gone and done it immediately. pro-ana and thinspiration weren’t really an online presence when i was a teen, thank goodness, and celebs were not opening up about eating disorders. also i think hollywood was not mostly underweight in the 90s like it is now. hopefully there will be another cultural shift soon to where people find underweight models to be a bad example (models who are naturally underweight would hopefully be exceptions and not the rule). i think it’s harder to be a teenager now than when i was a decade ago.

  • Isabel

    I believe celebrities shouldn’t be barred from sharing their experiences, good or bad. Although I don’t think that celebrities should be expected to be role models, the openess about eating disorders, if it can actually make influence on other people, the influence it would have wouldn’t be good. You wouldn’t think of them as a warning sign of possible harm but rather as a form to feel comfortable about your problems and see disorders as a normal thing, not something you need to work at.

  • serena

    I suspect Demi comes from a toxic family. Her parents stuck her on “Barney” at age 4 and then Disney channel – she grew up on camera. Her little sister Madison is an obese child and they put her on Desperate Housewives (she played Eva Longoria’s daughter) and so many cruel fat jokes were made about her. Clearly the parents care more about money than their kid’s health or self-esteem. So I hope Demi does something to help her sister because obese children often grow up to be morbidly obese adults.

    • Soph

      Wow that’s her sister? She looks so much darker and stuff than Demi. I often felt sad for her I suspect she will grow up and not like being cast ‘the fat one’. Sad.

  • Clarence Beeks

    If it’s okay to ask for help about a drug and alcohol problem, why hasn’t she admitted she has one? Rehab was for DRUGS, yes, because of an ED, but she has a DRUG problem. I don’t like that she only addresses some of her issues…..if you are going to come clean to the public, be honest.

    • Anastasia.

      Exactly!! She only talks about her eating disorder and not her drug/alcohol/anger issues, because she knows she won’t get much sympathy for it, and her fan base might actually turn on her. Can’t stand her

  • moomuhmuh

    There’s something about her that reminds me of Anna Paquin. I don’t know what it is. Maybe the cleft chin and there really is no resemblance but I don’t know. I think Demi is pretty and I love those freckles!

  • Megan

    She really surprised me when all this first happened, most people hide their problems. It’s great what’s she doing & promoting others to do. Keeping stuff shoved deep inside often leads to self destruction, speak up.

  • Anastasia.

    What? So when she was 12 years old, no celeb was talking about body issues? She was 12 years old probably 10 years ago. So 10 years ago, nobody was talking about such topics? BS. She’s such an attention seeker, trying to make it seem like she’s the first one to come out all talk about this issue. And, she really believes that if some other celeb had admitted that they too had had an eating disorder/issues, then Demi herself wouldn’t go down the same route? That’s reallllllly pathetic and sad…. Can’t stand this girl, and the way she’s milking this thing for all its worth. And if she wants girls to look up to her, well, punching back up dancers is definitely a good start.

  • Junior

    Damn, they still asking her questions about this??

  • I love her. With a lot of things it can go either way. Talking about may make teens think its a good idea/the ‘in’ thing to do etc to be a celeb or may realize they shouldn’t be ashamed to talk if they are hurting.

  • kim

    I also am in mental health. I only wish to say I think its less than productive for people to each other on this website over which mental health disorder is MOST devastating. Schizophrenia can be horrific….same for depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder, ED, addictions etc. However, with love, understanding, support, proper treatment (which sadly is NOT affordable), hard hard work and empathy these disorders don’t have to dictate an individual’s existence. It should also be noted that the path to such disorders, how each person experiences them, and the path to recovery are very unique to each person. So perhaps lets send positive energy to everyone suffering …and be cognizant that everyone is doing their best where they are. Done preaching:)

    • Completely agree kim. Any mental illness can be devastating – trying to argue which one is the most devastating can just sound dismissive of the others. Everyone is an individual and everyone has their own struggles – it’s impossible to say who suffers the most, when we all have a different perspective on it. I have known people with schizophrenia and bipolar and I have an anxiety disorder myself – everyone does the best they can and the most important thing is to be positive and have respect and kindness from those around you (and towards those around you!)

  • kim

    oops *for people to argue with eachother

  • christine

    @Serena, to be honest, I see your point that eds may not appear dangerous or life threatening, but the same DSM manual has even stated that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of ANY mental illness, including schizophrenia. Granted, some of these deaths are from related suicides, but neverthless eating disorders are incredibly severe and incredibly strong. Second, not only “rich white teenage girls” get eating disorders. 1/10 sufferers is male, and demi was a latino middle classed girl when she began disordered eating. Eating disorders are so overlooked by the media as a bad diet, when in reality they are so much more–they are a physical cover up to severe emotional distress, perfectionism, depression, neuroticism, and even sexual abuse. Eating disorders can last lifetimes, and as a sufferer of anorexia who is trying to recover, I can wholeheartedly say that the disease is such a monster, and incredibly difficiult to overcome. Check NEDA–only 1/3 sufferers from anorexia recover fully. A little over a third die. Yes, that is right–more die from anorexia than fully recover from it. I’m not trying to be rude, but you are being slightly ignorant.

    • serena

      @Christine Actually it is pretty rude to put words in my mouth. I never said “rich white teenage girls” get ED’s or denied that people die of them. So either you can’t read or you’re responding to the wrong user. I’m no therapist, but I did work with a few ED patients when I did my psych rotation last summer, so I can promise I know a lot more than the very basic info you shared. Naturally since you’re anorexic you feel it’s the worst problem, but to be honest I have treated patients with issues ranging from MS to brain tumors who in my opinion have it a lot worse; they have tons of psych symptoms + seizures, paralysis, brain damage, etc. But it’s not fair to compare apples and oranges, is it? Again, I’m not denying ED’s are debilitating and that people die of them. And I wish you the best luck in your recovery and hope you are healthy one day.

      • serena

        Btw – I did not realize there were so many ED sufferers here. It kind of makes me want to be more cautious about my comments on celeb/model’s bodies. This blog is probably triggering for some people…

  • janae

    Perhaps I misunderstand EDs….but if you don’t have the mental disorder then how would reading about it cause you to have it? Watching movies about schizophrenia do not cause people to develop this disorder…..so how wouod reading about a celebrity battling a mental disorder cause someone to have ED? If anything I think it woyld be encouraging and helpful. I do not have an ED (not to say I do not struggle with other mental health issues) and no matter what I read or how much I wanted to lose weight I could never intentionally not eat or throw up because I do not have that mental illness. I am not saying anything bad about those who do- it is a horrible disease and I wish all thos suffering health and happiness. My point is just that simplu reading about a mental disorder can’t make someone have it. Or maybe it can? Someone give me some feedback it is something I’d like to understand. All I’m saying is other mental illnesses like OCD or schizophrenia or even depression are not “contagious” by hearing about them.

    • serena

      I don’t think it’s that they’re “contagious” in the way you described, it’s more about how so many women are pressured to be thin and people get ideas from hearing about what other ED patients did. Like a lot of psych problems, ED’s are a spectrum. There are extremes (famous Teri Schiavo case) and milder versions too. So people who are vulnerable to an ED or have a mild version may make extreme decisions based on the ideas they glean from pro-ana/mia sites. Unfortunately there are hundreds of these blogs all over the internet and some are really scary. For example MaryKate Olsen became a poster child for the pro-ana sites years ago.

    • Casey

      Because it could be a “trigger.”

      That which we recognize as eating disorders are actually not disorders themselves.

      The underlying disorder is similar to anxiety/phobia. The disordered eating is just a manifestation of it.

      For someone who already has the building blocks of that anxiety/phobic disorder, learning about disordered eating could “trigger” the disorder to start manifesting in the way that we know anorexia or bulemia.

      But most of the time, what you get is people copying the disorder, without actually having the full blown disorder. This happens very frequently and can still be detrimental.

      • janae

        I hope none is angry for ne for askibg. Like I said it isbsonethingni am genuinely curious about

  • Rebecka

    I’m not even a celebrity and haven’t told anyone about my eating disorder. I don’t want the attention.

  • D

    She should wear less foundation and show her freckles more often – she looks a lot better.
    It isnt *all* she talks about, this is a weight/body-related blog so the quotes from her shared on this site relate to such.

  • anonymous

    She looks good there, she looks better with softer makeup.

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