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I want a career that’s nothing to do with my body: Demi Lovato on how Hollywood fuelled her eating disorder

Singer-actress Demi Lovato says the television industry in Hollywood normalised her eating disorder, sharing that her previous team used to monitor her weight before any photo shoot.

In an interview with Bustle, Lovato opened up about growing up as a Disney star, including how her old management team normalised her eating disorder.

“I kind of looked around and had a moment where I was like, ‘Wow. This is so terrifyingly normalised’,” Lovato said, detailing that she used to be given “watermelon with fat-free whipped cream” in place of a birthday cake each year.

“I used to have people watching me the night before a photo shoot to make sure that I didn’t binge or eat and be swollen the next day,” she added.

After her first stint in rehab in 2010, Lovato decided not to return to Disney Channel as she was scared that she would be silenced from sharing her challenges.

I want a career that has nothing to do with my body. I want it to be about my music and my lyrics and my message. And I want a long-lasting career that I don’t have to change myself for. Music brought me so much joy when I was younger, and I lost that joy throughout the hustle and bustle of the music industry. I got miserable. And I don’t ever want it to be like that again

– Demi Lovato

“I came out of the experience with the choice of talking about my struggles or my journey with the possibility of helping people, or keeping my mouth shut and going back to Disney Channel. And I was like that doesn’t feel authentic to me. So I chose to tell my story,” Lovato said.

Lovato’s eating disorder persisted, along with her opioid addiction that eventually led to a near-fatal overdose in 2018, resulting in a return to rehab.

“I want a career that has nothing to do with my body. I want it to be about my music and my lyrics and my message. And I want a long-lasting career that I don’t have to change myself for,” Lovato said, adding: “Music brought me so much joy when I was younger, and I lost that joy throughout the hustle and bustle of the music industry. I got miserable. And I don’t ever want it to be like that again,” said Lovato, adding that she loves her new management team.

“Before quarantine, it was very difficult for me to cry. I had programmed the thought into my head when I was 16 that I’m only going to cry if people pay me to. I started doing all this work, allowing myself to feel the pains of all the losses that I’ve had or the adversities or traumas that I’ve faced. I think my ability to be vulnerable and be more intimate with people has really heightened,” Lovato said.

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