Demi Lovato Is Baring It All

Despite her past hardships, Demi Lovato is using her stardom to be vulnerable, show her flaws and reveal the truth behind her struggles. On Sept. 5, Demi Lovato posted an unedited photo of herself on Instagram in which she rocked a cheetah print bikini in a tropical location. Along with the photo, Lovato described her experience of being self-conscious while working in television and film and how she’s transformed into being “unashamed, unafraid, and proud” of the body she’s in. Lovato flaunts noticeable cellulite in the photo, which she celebrated in honor of National Cellulite Day. She had an outreach of 74.3 million followers and counting, and the pop star hoped “to inspire someone” through her positive social media post. We can assume that her post connected with fans because of the over 9 million likes Lovato received from her body confident message. In addition to fans, celebrities such as Hannah Brown from “The Bachelorette” and YouTuber Jaclyn Hill celebrated Lovato through commenting in support of her brave endeavor.

Lovato released a documentary, “Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated,”  in October 2017 that let fans into her struggles with body image and substance abuse as she took on projects through Disney Channel and beyond. Although portrayed to the public as a role model, Lovato battled bipolar disorder, bulimia and drug abuse as a teenager. The film details her time in remission and her journey through childhood as she reached stardom at an early age.

In July 2018, Demi Lovato overdosed and was sent to a rehabilitation facility once again to begin the journey back to sobriety. According to People Magazine, Lovato remained sober for six years before her lethal overdose and hospital visit. Lovato appeared to be successfully sober until her song “Sober” was released shortly before the incident. The song details an apology to her friends, family and fans for falling victim to the temptations of drug addiction. Before listeners were given the opportunity to reach out to Lovato, she overdosed at her Los Angeles home and was sent to the hospital. After the drug overdose, the singer removed herself from social media for four months by not posting anything until she promoted voting in the midterm election in November 2018. Since the event, Lovato has put effort into emanating positivity on her public platforms by reminding fans to never give up and by continuing to post normally, which shows how she’s working to come return to her typical daily life. 

Sarah Wasley, a freshman geology major at the University of Florida, watched Demi Lovato use her influence for the better. She recognized the illusion celebrities present through the use of digital programs that retouch photos and convince people to aim for impractical bodies.

“I think that her portraying a realistic image of women in Hollywood is really important,” Wasley said. “The standard that’s been set for beauty is completely unattainable and can be incredibly harmful to young women’s images of themselves when they can’t achieve that.”

Lovato is tangible proof of someone learning to love the skin they’re in. Although she is still dealing with mental health issues, Lovato tries to maintain a fit lifestyle, which can be seen in unused documentary footage where Demi Lovato does jiu- jitsu.

Although Lovato has found outlets to treat her mental health, others in similar situations struggle to cope as well.

“Mental health is a really difficult thing to deal with on your own, but it can be really difficult to ask for help too,” Wasley said. “You have to be willing to seek out help from the people that care about you so that you can work towards making your life better, even a little bit.”

Hotlines exist for those struggling with issues from mental illness to substance abuse and can be a resource for people in need. Despite dealing with substance abuse and more, Demi Lovato opened people’s eyes up to the importance of finding inner confidence — even if that means snapping a quick photo of your flaws. Such a simple picture of her cellulite proved Lovato is on a path towards recovery and self-love.