My daughter, Jordyn with Demi & Joe Jonas on the set of a Camp Rock commercial, back in 2010.
There are some artists who I take notice of solely by virtue of their mesmerizing talent and artistry. However, I am most inspired by those artists who possess this amazing talent and use the attention to create awareness and empowerment. There is a young artist by the name of Demi Lovato whom I have followed from the onset of her career. Her music has definitely evolved over the years, and she too has evolved into a remarkable young woman on many fronts.
After meeting Demi for the first time in 2010, I would have never thought she struggled with any sort of mental illness. Demi was sweet, kind and very personable.
Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, rooted from a traumatic childhood as well as a family history of mental illness, she speaks out about the stigma of mental health from a place of empathy and honesty. Her courage and willingness to share her struggles, past and present so candidly is inspiring. Most young women, under the scrutiny of the media, struggle to share their mental illness story with anyone. Demi is choosing to grab hold of her illness through her fame, and use it to serve in such a brave and honorable way. I have so much respect for the strength and love behind her choices.
Demi has been very passionate about “Bullying,” something that is near and dear to my heart as well. As a little girl, I remember watching a boy on the school bus torment and bully my sweet, older sister. He would call her names and tease her mercilessly. I was only five years old, which means my sister was eight. I remember thinking, “why is he being so mean and scary?” Fast forward to 8th grade where I was then bullied by a girl in my grade who did everything she could to turn all my friends and then some against me. She did everything she could to tear me down. For a month I ate lunch alone in a corner as a result of her manipulation of others. It was a traumatic experience and it changed me. I remember feeling helpless and wanting to die at the young age of 13. I have never forgotten how I felt during that time and I carry that experience with me, vowing to never treat anyone like they are worthless or like I am better than them.
Demi has spoken out about this on several occasions. She spoke recently at “We Day” which is an inspirational event to empower our youth to focus on helping communities and our world. When Demi spoke at the event she said these words, ” If I had a superpower that could change the world I would completely wipe out eating disorders, self-harm, bullying and cyber bullying. I just wish all of that would go away.” What a powerful message and wish this young lady has. How inspiring that she is voicing her wish, trying to make a difference for the better. In October of this year Demi came out with a documentary called “Simply Complicated”. She does not hold anything back. Demi is honest and raw about her struggles. She shows you a very vulnerable young woman, who has risen up through her pain with strength. My seventeen year old daughter watched it one night and quickly asked me to watch. I did and was blown away. I understood why my daughter Jordyn was so impressed with her. Demi doesn’t let her struggles break and she dent hide them. She wears them as a badge of honor. Demi is a positive force amongst all women. I admire her all the more, because she is using her status to make a difference in the lives of this new generation. This is inspiring to me as an artist, but mostly as a mother and a human being. Giving back is the truest healer and Ms. Lovato is choosing health through and through.