You have to hand it to Demi Lovato, she really sticks to her talking points, like obsessively so. Sometimes that means she makes a difference in the lives of youth at risk for eating disorders and self harming and sometimes that means she’s feuding with other celebrities over petty things. Demi covers the November issue of Glamour Magazine, where she looks like she swapped faces with Zoe Kravitz. Does anyone else see that? It’s a mixture of makeup and Photoshop I think. As we’ve come to expect from Demi, who last told off a fan for not drawing her body with realistic proportions, she has some strong ideas about how women should look. Apparently that extends to judging other women for not meeting her standards. Demi also talked to Glamour about being “triggered” by things that remind her of her difficult childhood, by seeing thin women, and by seeing people use her former drug of choice, cocaine.
On the negative response to her “Body Say” images
You don’t say anything, because you can never win. Whether they’re saying that you’re ugly, or that you’re a whore, or that you’re a bad role model, or something else, you’re never gonna win.
On exploring sexuality in her image and music
We live in an imbalanced society when it comes to encouraging male sexuality and discouraging female sexuality. In 20 years I hope we’ll look back like, Wow, that’s how it used to be.
Working too much reminds her of her unhealthy past
But I was on such a platform[at Disney] that gave me the rest of my career—I couldn’t complain. [So now] whenever our schedules start to get busy, I start getting triggered because the things I used to do to cope were unhealthy. When I have a long day, I think, if [I went back to those things], I’d be able to get through it. But we now work with our manager, and we have amazing schedules.
Question: You’ve said before, in regard to Taylor Swift, “Don’t brand yourself a feminist if you don’t do the work.” How do you see yourself doing the work?
Just speaking out. I’m not afraid to talk about the fact that women get paid less than men in the United States and how unfair that is. Talking about it at all is doing the work. And I think every woman does her part in some way. But I think in certain situations, certain people could be doing more if they’re going to claim that as part of their brand. To be honest, and this will probably get me in trouble, I don’t see anybody in any sort of squad that has a normal body. It’s kind of this false image of what people should look like. And what they should be like, and it’s not real.
Question: Well, there are many kinds of “normal” bodies. I think what you’re getting at is there’s just one type of body in that squad.
It’s not realistic. And I think that having a song and a video about tearing Katy Perry down, that’s not women’s empowerment. We all do things that aren’t, but I have to ask myself, Am I content with calling myself a feminist? Yes, because I speak out.
Question: Do things besides a busy schedule still trigger you?
Yeah, of course. Seeing cocaine in movies. I’ve never watched The Wolf of Wall Street. I can’t. I don’t like to go out to clubs, because I find myself seeing remnants of drugs in the bathroom. I did the Victoria’s Secret Swim Special, and being surrounded by supermodels’ bodies was triggering to me. I remember asking, “How do you maintain your figure?” Some said, “I really have to work at it.” Others said, “It’s genetics.” It was interesting to hear that it wasn’t through unhealthy [behaviors]. It was a great learning experience. I still felt sexy, having a different body than these women. I had Wilmer there, who loved my curves—that helped.
Do you see how that question about Swift went? Demi was asked about feminism as it related to her feud with Taylor. She answered that very sensibly and then somehow turned it around into models and thin women not being “real” or “normal,” as if that’s a related topic. I really liked how the Glamour interviewer called her on it. Being thin or out of the “average” range is not the same as not being “normal.” There are people who are under and over a healthy BMI, but that’s a different metric entirely. Plus, say what you will about Taylor Swift, she does try to be inclusive with her squad and has had average-sized women at her parties, like Uzo Aduba and Lena Dunham. Taylor usually hangs out with other singers, actresses and models and women in those professions tend to be thinner than the general population. So Demi’s point is lousy for several reasons, particularly the fact that she claims to be body positive and inclusive. Funny how that doesn’t extend to women who are thinner than her. It’s like the only body type that deserves praise is her own. Also, it’s telling that being around models is “triggering” to her. That’s their job to be thin. It’s not personal.
I’ll say something nice now, she looks very cute with freckles.
photos credit: Glamour/Carter Smith and Instagram/Demi Lovato