Demi Lovato has become one of Hollywood’s greatest body love warriors in the last year. After a major wake up call last year, the Grammy award winner took some time off to reconnect with herself and in the process, learned how to appreciate her body.
First up, she decided to take some time away from the gym. “For so many years I dealt with an eating disorder,” she shared at the Teen Vogue Summit this weekend. “What I wasn’t ever open with myself about was whenever I was in the gym I was doing it to an unhealthy extreme. I think that’s what led me down a darker path – I was still engaging in these behaviours. Embracing my body as it is naturally is why I took the month of October off the gym.”
The singer has posted a handful of unedited selfies this year, helping to open the conversation up around body positivity and self-worth. However Lovato said that for her it’s less about body positivity and more about body acceptance. “We hear the term body positivity all the time. To be honest, I don’t always feel positive about my body. Sometimes I do not like what I see,” she explained. “I don’t sit there and dwell on it. I also don’t lie to myself. I used to look in the mirror if I was having a bad body image day and say ‘I love my body, you’re beautifully and wonderfully made.’ But I didn’t believe it.” Instead, she switched up her self-affirmation. “I don’t have to lie to myself and tell myself I have an amazing body. All I have to say is ‘I’m healthy’. In that statement, I express gratitude. I am grateful for my strength and the things I can do with my body. I am saying I’m healthy and I accept the way my body is today without changing anything.”
This mindset shift has helped her to view her entire self in a different light, too. “What I see in the mirror [is] someone that’s overcome a lot. I’ve been through a lot and I genuinely see a fighter. I don’t see a championship winner, but I see a fighter and someone who is going to continue to fight no matter what is thrown their way. I have a lot of confidence now because I have said the things I believe in. That’s what I see when I look in the mirror – a strong woman.”
All of these lessons have helped Lovato work out what’s most important in her own life, and it’s certainly not the opinion of others – a message we can all learn something from. “Over the past five years I’ve learned that life is not worth living unless you’re living for yourself. If you’re trying to be someone you’re not, or you’re trying to please other people, it’s not going to work in the long run. If you want to dye your hair purple, dye your hair purple. If you want to love someone of the same sex, love someone of the same sex. Be yourself and don’t be afraid of what people think.”
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