A Lively Public Examination: How Demi Lovato Made Her Best Identity Out of Her Pain icon

The next one has been published on 15 September. renovated, The third of the “posthumous” albums by Demi Lovato (Albuquerque, New Mexico, 30 years old). We say posthumous because they are the latter (this one and the two before it, Dancing with the Devil…and the Art of Starting Over And Holy Fvck) which the artist himself describes as his “death and resurrection”, i.e., suffered an opiate overdose five years ago on July 24, 2018, at his Hollywood Hills residence.

In that dramatic moment, Lovato suffered a heart attack and three strokes and still has symptoms such as partial blindness that leaves her unable to drive. makes it count dance with the devil A six-part documentary series that premiered on YouTube two years ago and has now garnered over 16 million views. This is possibly the deepest and most harrowing documentary on the frailties, misadventures and tragedies of a famous woman produced in recent years.

Revamped, the album that brings back Lovato, will not feature new songs. This new release of ten of the most emblematic songs from the American repertoire is a simple translation into a rock sensibility Sorry not sorry, which is amplified to the point of frenzy and includes the heady trapper guitar playing of ex-Guns N’ Roses Slash, his new creative partner. Fans have already had the opportunity to listen to the above three songs, heart attack And cool for summerAnd they’re welcoming them with predictable enthusiasm.

Demi Lovato signs autographs and posters in New York in 2008.Janet Pellegrini (WireImage)

It matters little that commentators like Tomas Mier de Rolling stone Lovato’s Rock Drift seems to them to be an act of treacherous opportunism and lack substance. Lover, one of the most radical and unconditional tribes of fan All over the world, they are willing to buy whatever their golden calf sells them. They confide in her, they feel rewarded for the outrageous frankness with which she tells them about her life. They are elated by their successes. They suffer like mothers from their love disappointments, problems of emotional balance and their addictions.

As Scotty Andrews pointed out in an article on CNN, this staunch group of die-hard supporters has become accustomed to considering even her “empty-looking” statements, such as Lovato’s recognition of her sexuality and identity, excellent. And his recent anguish about the real. , which has spilled rivers of ink: after consistently defining herself as bisexual, pansexual and WeirdTold to refer as a non-binary person (with English) in 2021 They in place of feminine pronouns He, A few months ago they decided to return to feminine pronouns. The reason for this pirate is, as he declared on the Spout podcast, that he is “reconnecting” with his feminine side, admitting that pronoun dancing can be somewhat “confusing.”

love me even if it hurts

There’s a little-known anecdote that perfectly sums up the strange way that Demi Lovato has connected with her fans since she joined a pop group when she was a child. In September 2016, a 17-year-old follower named Vladimir Sarbanescu posted a picture on Twitter depicting the singer-actress as an attractive mermaid with large breasts and a thin waist. Within hours, the image garnered 3,500 ‘likes’ and over a hundred appreciative comments from viewers. Lover. Vladimir greeted the praise enthusiastically. Soon his smile will be stable.

Given the anticipation generated, Lovato, who is thought to manage her social networks in person whenever possible, said the picture looked “beautiful” to her, but it wasn’t her body: “Can you? Do you think that my body should be?” breast? The tone of the intervention almost immediately made a 180-degree turn. Lover They began accusing Serbanescu of being insensitive, sexist and rowdy, tarnishing Demi’s image and turning her into an object of masculine fantasy. The boy tried a timid defence: “I’m sorry I bothered you, but I wanted to represent you as I imagine mermaids, mythical creatures.” Lovato continued: “I’ve already congratulated you on the drawing. But let me tell you how insulting I find it when someone pictures me in a different body because obviously my body isn’t as good.”

This is (or rather how it is shown in public, especially on social networks) Demi Lovato. Quick, direct, honest. Close and sympathetic when appropriate, belligerent and aggressive when she perceives someone has crossed a line. An astute observer, Lovato combats any glories (perceived or derogatory) of misogyny, talking about feminism, acceptance of bodies and culture Weird, displays insecurities and traces of a troubled biography that has shown her in hells such as bulimia, self-harm or substance abuse. And this Lover They respond in unison, with unconditional loyalty and messianic fervor, because they feel that their ideal has been given to them body and soul, without excuse or doubt.

always faithful

not all communities fan They are very dedicated. Middle smilingMiley Cyrus’ followers, however, endure a certain discrepancy: There are those who love her music and those who decry her image as a rebellious and misguided diva. Middle SwiftiesTaylor Swift’s tribe, a minority but very active faction gay masterwho insists on taking her out of the cell against her will and second, heitler’swhich requires him to repeatedly affirm his heterosexuality and more strongly reject the former. barbzThe secular cult surrounding Nicki Minaj is also divided between suspected lesbians and paranoid heterosexuals. majority of fans harry potter They live in a dichotomy: they worship the book, but they reject its author, JK Rowling, who has been very active in questioning progress in trans laws.

Demi Lovato and Wilmer Valderrama, who was her partner, at the Grammy Awards in February 2016 in Las Vegas.Lester Cohen (WireImage)

Nothing like this happens in Lovato territory. Demi is respected, accepted and most of all, supported in her constant mutation. Her oldest fans, those who have been following her since she starred in the series camp Rock In 2008, when she was barely 15 years old, she began supporting a Disney princess of Latin descent in the Jonas Brothers’ orbit, a Catholic, proud wearer of a purity ring that fulfilled her desire to be a virgin at the wedding. was recognised. ,

Then it turned out that the angelic-looking teenager with a voice spanning a little over four octaves, a product that was designed to be successful in the Bible Belt of the United States, had long ago suffered sexual assault ( According to what she announced in 2021 (during the filming of the aforementioned film, which contributed greatly to her upbringing), she suffered from bulimia nervosa and had been drinking and using cannabis since she was 13. was smoking Shortly afterwards, it also emerged that her relationship with Wilmer Valderrama, a Venezuelan singer 12 years her senior, had begun when she was a minor, around the same time she began using cocaine.

Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato in 2008.Dimitrios Kamboris (WireImage)

Later changes would prove even more abrupt. In 2010, at the age of 18, he entered a rehabilitation clinic for the first time. As Josh Duboff explains Harper’s BazaarThe trigger was that “he publicly assaulted one of his dancers, Alex Welch, in an early morning drinking bout.” Her physicians ruled at the time that her compulsive and erratic behavior was due to bipolar disorder, a diagnosis Lovato herself accepted for years, but today she disagrees, convinced that what she is suffering from is actually In addition to having a severe attention deficit disorder, they were also found to be suffering from anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.

hell it was

With such a backpack on her back, and with a communications policy that valued ambiguity and half-truths even more than clarity, Demi forged a shift in artistic maturity (almost) under the Disney Channel umbrella as her platform. Seen victorious. She couldn’t slow down, as recommended by doctors after her first major collapse, because of the success of her second album, Here we go again (2009) allowed him to buy a Mediterranean-style mansion in Los Angeles for his family, but charged him several hefty fees in return.

Turned into a company responsible for the support of her mother, her stepfather, and her sisters, Lovato continues to deal with her personal hells as best she can. Between 2010 and 2012, as he now admits, he continued to take drugs for fun, but in secret. Then came years of relative stability and sobriety, barely punctuated by the occasional relapse. they succeeded monolithic, demi, confident And tell me you Love Me, an album of growing success and was treated generously by critics. sworn in X Factor In the same issue as Britney Spears, another Disney princess is caught in a destructive cycle.

In November 2017, he parked his Soul Wide spectrum to look for in Latin pop blame me, her successful duet with Luis Fonsi. And in 2018, her demons finally caught up with her and she went through a nightmare year. In March, days after celebrating her (supposed) six years without alcohol and drugs, Demi said she was feeling “dissatisfied and disgusted” with herself. dance with the devil, He locked himself in his mansion to drink a bottle of red wine alone. A few hours later, he arrived at a private party where he consumed “MDMA, cocaine, marijuana, oxytocin and methamphetamine mixed with several liters of alcohol” for the first time, a cocktail that could be fatal.

Britney Spears and Demi Lovato during a guest jury appearance on the US version of ‘The X Factor’ in 2012.Fox (Fox Image Collection via Getty I)

The overdose he survived that night occurred four months later, caused by taking fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 times stronger than heroin. One of his assistants found him lying on the floor. Paramedics arrived at her residence when the singer was “barely five minutes away from death” and managed to revive her by administering naloxone with a nasal spray.

tell me everything

If we know all of these details, even the most ridiculous ones, it’s because Lovato, in one of those exercises of transparency that so dazzles her fans both new and old, has sobbed and In this compilation of bad luck, he has chosen to explain that this is his documentary and does so following the suggestion of his new agent, Scooter Braun, whom he hired shortly after being discharged after an overdose.

Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and Miley Cyrus at the 2008 Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles.K Mazur/TCA 2008 (WireImage)

Braun, a 42-year-old New Yorker, had already come to the rescue of a few healthy ones: Justin Bieber’s image and Ariana Grande’s music career. Demi surrenders herself to him and naturally embraces the five-year plan he has designed for her. First, a long professional break to heal wounds, regain balance, and rid himself of the image of protracted toxicity associated with suffering an opioid overdose at age 25. Later, a change in musical direction (rock is not dead, says Demi Lovato), frenzied activity on the network and the systematic use of “honesty” as a strategy.

it worked. And she did so to a great extent, because Lovato has retained the fabulous asset that fans have always been rooting for her. Lover, the captive public that serves as the radiating nucleus for his planetary success and that has stood by him in good times and in bad because it has come to believe that Demi, with all her flaws and weaknesses, will always show him the truth. Was going to tell This is how empires are built and strengthened in the age of new fame.

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