Before they were famous: Demi Lovato

There seems to be a growing trend of young, independent female pop stars, leaving the era of The Spice Girls and entering a phase of girls in their early twenties juggling a massive entertainment career that most long time media professionals would struggle with.

Demi Lovato is the epitome of the level-headed glamour girl turned sex symbol, turned feminist, turned all round humanitarian activist in the public eye. She has been certified gold standard by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA); has starred in her own Disney television show; has topped the charts all over the globe; she was the 2014 poster girl for LGBT rights and marriage equality in the US; she has supported school aged kids through anti-bullying campaigns; she was a columnist for Seventeen Magazine, describing her struggles as a teenager; she owns her own charity funding program for mentally ill patients needing money for medications; and has donated thousands of dollars to many different charities.

She is the angel faced and kind hearted, Demi Lovato.

Demi was born Demetria Devonne Lovato, 1992, in New Mexico. Her father was an engineer and part time musician, and her mother was a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader and full time mum. She has three siblings, all spanning across widely different years of age. Her parents divorced when she was two years old.

She started a career in acting, appearing on the show, Barney and Friends, where she met her long-time friend, Selena Gomez. Gomez would prove to be an important part of Lovato’s life as she was bullied so incessantly through high school, leading her to be home schooled. Students would recognise her face from TV or demo albums and shout abuse at her, not only at her former high school, but outside of her house too.

“I had a really tough time when I was in middle school. People would write ‘hate petitions’ [about me] and send them around to be signed. They’d have CD-bashing parties of my demos. They’d come to my house, stand across the street and yell things. It was a very emotional time for me, and all I wanted to do was get away…”

This trauma has outlined a huge part of Lovato’s life. It lead her to develop an eating disorder and severe depression.
After graduating school from her home, Gomez was becoming a massive name in the Disney teen entertainment franchise in such things as: Camp Rock, As the Bell Rings, and Sonny with a Chance.

Camp Rock became a massive success, beating High School Musical in its first week. Lovato sang four tracks in the film and its successive soundtrack, with some pretty shitty sounding songs, like: ‘We rock’ and ‘Our time is here’. The kind of music you would ground your children for listening to in an open space. Nevertheless, Lovato was on her way to bigger and better things.
She, shortly after, brought out her own debut album called, Don’t Forget. It peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 200. And, within 6 months, Lovato brought out a second album, Here We Go Again, which made number 1 on the Billboard chart.

Not only this, but Lovato was starting with charity work yet again and was giving proceeds to things such as wildlife conservation funds on behalf of Disney. But, as life so often happens, Lovato was brought down in her prime by her resurfacing of an unspoken battle of mental illness as she started self-mutilating, becoming anorexic, and was having major problems with stress and anxiety. Lovato was admitted to a treatment clinic and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a cocaine addiction, and bulimia. After four years, she was released and a subsequent documentary was made of her experiences in the clinic.

The following year, Lovato released her successful single, ‘Skyscraper’; a song about self-worth and a message of hope for those that are being bad mouthed or struggling with adversity. So, it’s clear that Lovato has resilience and her control of the pressures of a public life and a life crisis is admirable. She is a perfect role model for teenage girls and boys, and whomever seeks guidance in a cruel world of self-hatred and outside hatred through bullying.

Much like a sermon, we will end with some beautiful words from Lovato:

“Never be ashamed of what you feel. You have the right to feel any emotion that you want, and to do what makes you happy.”

And, before you leave us, we, at the Vulture nest, appreciate and respect those who suffer from mental illness. If you are suffering from any symptoms of depression or anxiety, we encourage you to seek professional and personal support. The contact number for mental health crises is: 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au.

Happy listening, Vultures.

Jacob Reid

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