It is no secret, I have had a huge human crush on Demi Lovato for a while. She is constantly inspiring me with her unparalleled vocal talent, loving and giving heart, passionate advocacy for mental health and female empowerment, incredible inner strength, and awesome sense of humor. There are many reasons I feel like Demi is a kindred spirit. This may be because she has experienced her share of struggle – with a personal history of eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia), substance abuse, self-harm, being bullied, and bipolar disorder. I admire her for being so incredibly candid about her mental health and recovery journey. She could have kept her difficulties private, but she found the courage to share them with her fans and the world. And she has helped thousands of young people feel less alone and ask for help as a result. She tries to use her voice for more than just music and that has always really touched me.
Philanthropy seems like it is very important to Demi. She supports the international charity and youth empowerment movement, Free the Children. She has hosted and performed at their annual event, We Day, that aims to inspire and honor young people who actively try to make a difference in the world. She also partnered with CAST Recovery to establish the Demi Lovato Treatment Scholarship in memory of her father, who dealt with bipolar and schizophrenia and passed away in June of 2013. The scholarship helps one person at a time get the mental health and addiction treatment they desperately need.
Demi carrying a jug of water on her 21st birthday trip with Free the Children Image courtesy of www.freethechildren.com
I admire Demi so much for being a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and mental health care reform. I have dealt with an anxiety disorder my entire life and I know from personal experience that stigma is still a big problem. Demi has partnered with several national mental health organizations for the Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health initiative. The goals of this initiative are to empower people to become mental health advocates and break the stigma of mental illness by being vocal. There is also a website with lots of resources for anyone who may be struggling and need help with a mental health issue. In a society that can be pretty judgmental of those dealing with mental illness, I find Demi’s candidness incredibly refreshing and really important.
One thing that Demi constantly tries to promote is the concept of self-love. Although she has dealt with body-confidence issues for most of her life, she has come so far. I was especially inspired by her recent photo shoot for Vanity Fair magazine. Her courage to be vulnerable and authentic demonstrates how she has gone from “hating every inch” of her body, to truly loving the skin she is in. This is something that can be very difficult for people, especially young women. I know it is something that I deal with. Demi’s courage to bare it all really touched me. I am grateful to her for always trying to tell young people how beautiful they truly are and imploring them to love who they are. We are constantly inundated with unrealistic images of beauty, making Demi’s efforts that much more important.
Demi in a “No Make-up, No Retouching, No Clothes” Vanity Fair Photo shootImage courtesy of www.vanityfair.com
The moral of the story is that I am endlessly inspired by Demi Lovato. She is proof that a person can overcome anything and use their experiences to make a difference. Her music has been a huge source of comfort for me. I have been blessed enough to experience her concerts 3 times and I can say they have sparked some of the most joyful, touching moments of my life. I have met Demi twice, but have been rendered nearly speechless both times. I am so appreciative that I am able to thank her here on Chronically Enlightened.
If you haven’t checked out Demi’s new album, Confident, I highly suggest doing so. This album demonstrates how incredibly talented she is as a singer and songwriter. Not only is it beautiful and inspiring, but really fun as well. It contains some of her best music yet.
Thank you for being you Demi! I, for one, couldn’t be more grateful for you!
Forever A Lovatic,