Demi Lovato ‘I Was Called ‘Fat’ In School’

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Demi Lovato Nylon Magazine interview: How’d you get on board with Secret’s anti-bullying campaign? They approached me because they knew that I’m an activist for anti-bullying. It’s something that I went through myself, and it affected my life, so I wanted to make sure that more people are aware that gossiping and spreading rumors and things like that.

Things girls probably thought was innocent in school actually led to problems that affected me down the road. I actually use Secret, so it was cool that they came to me with this. We both believe in trying to spread the awareness about bullying. We thought it was a perfect opportunity to get the message out there. Even though the campaign is called “Mean Stinks” the deodorant does smell good!

I’m sure you’re so sick of talking about it at this point, but can you tell me about what happened? Yeah! I was bullied, and I’m not trying to play the victim. When you’re twelve you engage in gossip, rumors, and things like that, so I wasn’t bullied for no reason. I’m sure I was a little brat back then, but no one deserves to be bullied to the extent that I was bullied. They had a ‘Demi’s Hate Wall’ in the bathroom where they wrote things like, ‘Demi is a whore’ and ‘Demi is a slut.’

Were you bullied by boys or other girls? It was girls. It was in the girls’ bathroom. I think I had just had my first kiss a couple of months prior, so it didn’t make sense. It doesn’t bother me anymore, but they just chased me into a bathroom and had a bashing party. They had a petition and they wrote a bunch of nasty things on a piece of paper so that everyone to sign. It led to other problems down the road. At the time I was really confused as to why I was being bullied, so I just went off the things they were saying about me. I thought, ‘I guess I’m being bullied because I’m a slut.’

I actually took those things into consideration because I was so confused as to why this was happening. And one of the reasons why I thought they were bullying me and why I had no friends was because I was called ‘fat.’ Right after I was bullied, I stopped eating and lost thirty pounds. I got really sick and it’s something that I still have to deal with today. I ended up going into treatment for it when I was eighteen. I don’t think those girls even realized how much they affected me when I was eleven or twelve or how serious. You think that it’s just gossip between friends and that it isn’t harmful.

Why do you think that bullying has gotten to be this bad? I think that it’s reached a new level because of cyber bullying. I know a lot of adults who talk about bullying and say, “we had one mean bully in school.” You can say a lot behind a computer screen that will hurt another person and it’s embarrassing because it’s in front of so many people. So if somebody says something about you on Twitter about you it’s out there for the whole grade to see. It also has to do with reality TV shows that are just about fighting.

It creates a culture of bitchiness. Right—creating a culture of bitchiness. That’s going to influence younger girls who are watching those shows because it teaches them that drama is what’s
exciting. I’ve learned that surrounding myself with positive people and people that don’t engage in any gossip or drama whatsoever—that’s more exciting than having to deal with all of that.

And we’re so fragile at that age, which makes things even more difficult.
You’re growing up, your body is changing. You don’t really figure out who you are when you’re 12-years-old, but you’re trying to figure out what clique you fit into and who your friends are. I went through tons of different phases: a goth phase, a preppy stage…but now I’ve figured out who I am. I’ve got a lot of learning to do, but I’m in a good place now.

So you’ve decided who you are? Who is that person?
As long as you have a good sense of your morals, what you stand for, how you want to treat other people, what’s important to you, and what you love—then you have it all figured out.

So you decided that you didn’t need to label yourself as “goth” or be part of a specific group?
No. It’s not about labels at all. Some days I like to wear all black, some days I like to wear no makeup and look like a Hippie. My style changes. That being said, day-to-day I’m consistent with my morals and the things that I believe in—my passions and my hobbies. And I’m consistent with my friends and family as well.

Have you gotten feedback from any of the girls who have identified you as a role model or whose lives you’ve impacted?
There’s been girls that I’ve met at concerts and meet-and-greets who have told me that I’ve influenced their lives by being an inspiration—by getting through bulling and letting people know how serious it is. That means the world to me. There’s something about having younger cousins at that age, or other young girls in my life who are at risk of being bullied. I feel very protective over them. I have a little sister, and a cousin who has gone through this stuff. It was incredible that I was able to help them. I’m able to be there for my sister if she’s ever bullied and I’m able to be there for my cousins. I’m just excited to be able to do that.

Has has your music career and fame helped you make the changes you wanted to make?
I have changed and I’m continuing to change. Nobody ever stays the same. So the person that I was six months ago is not the person that I am today. Thankfully it’s just because I’ve continued to work on myself and better myself. I’ve learned more about what’s important to me. I’ve learned that family is more important to me than anything career-wise. I’ve learned my goals. I don’t really like singing certain songs anymore because they’re too pop and they don’t really express who I am musically.

Do you want to switch genres completely? Or do you want to remain pop, but with a more mature sound?
Yeah. It’s still going to be pop. But I want to stay away from EDM [electronic dance music] and the dub step. I want to hear real music instruments on
the radio. I think there’s a way of combining that with catchy hooks. Fun. does it well. So does Gotye and Taylor Swift—there are still instruments in their songs.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to girls to help them stand up for themselves?
You don’t have to stand up for yourself—it’s really about turning the other cheek. It’s easier said than done, but my mom told me that, and it’s true. When you don’t give them a reaction, they don’t get the satisfaction of hurting you because you don’t show them that it’s hurting you. Go through it, process it, and talk to somebody. But don’t stoop down to their level. Try to turn it into motivation by focusing on your schooling, your favorite hobbies, or your passion. I did that with music when I was bullied. I turned the other cheek. I put all of that negative energy and all of my free time towards becoming a better musician and actress. And here I am today! Focus on the things that you love and maybe one day you’ll end up in the same situation that I did.

  • AcidPinkLemonade

    So she could dish it out, but couldn’t take it.
    I don’t approve of putting others down but what goes around comes back around.
    And for the record, being 12 isn’t an excuse to talk crap about people, your age or status never is.

  • Anonymous

    And the story keeps switching…

  • kristin6410

    I agree bullyed kids should look for after high school but wat if there home life is bad then wat there still stuck with there family. Family doesnt go away. It hurts when ppl call u fat and ugly if ur not “strong” enough

  • Anonymous

    She’s lying. No one had a hate wall, no one chased her down. At most someone might of written one mean thing about her on the bathroom stall. Like c’mon. Give me a break. Her stories are constantly changing that’s how you know she’s lying or at least exaggerating. I agree with posters above these people who kill themselves over bullying their is something mentally wrong with them. Killing yourself is so unnatural and what I would imagine a scary thing, that you have to be messed up in the head to do it. Or there is more to the story. People get bullied everyday and most people don’t kill themselves over it. Everyone at one time in their life has been a bully. We’ve all said mean things about a person who probably didn’t deserve it and vice versa. Honestly, Demi should just say she isn’t going to talk about this anymore because it’s becoming all she’s known for. I wouldn’t want a career based on that I cut myself, punched someone in the face and then went to rehab. She is CONSTANTLY playing the victim (even if she says she isn’t) it’s so annoying. It’s everyone else’s fault that she turned out that way. Can she ever just say “Something is wrong with me.” not I got bullied, people called me fat, my parents didn’t realize quick enough I was sick, Disney put me under too much pressure. It’s so pathetic and sad how ungrateful she is. For once admit that YOU had something wrong with YOURSELF.

  • Anonymous

    “Do you want to switch genres completely? Or do you want to remain pop, but with a more mature sound?
    Yeah. It’s still going to be pop. But I want to stay away from EDM [electronic dance music] and the dub step. I want to hear real music instruments on
    the radio. I think there’s a way of combining that with catchy hooks. Fun. does it well. So does Gotye and Taylor Swift—there are still instruments in their songs.”
    omg yay i loved here we go again the most out of her albums so i hope her new album is like that

  • Anonymous

    I want Demi and Taylor to do a collab since they’re my favorite female singers from this generation. Pleaseeeee Demi and Taylor collabbbbbbbbbb

  • SlimShady

    Omg. Demi keeps saying the exact same thing. Yeah, we know you were bullied. I got beaten so badly in middle school they actually broke my arm. But I got over it, I reported it, I sued their asses, and I grew a backbone. Do the same for God’s sakes.

  • Anonymous

    I doubt they had a ‘Hate wall of Demi’. I mean lets be honest.

  • Anonymous

    When you’re in school, specially in your teens you’re very impressionable and school/friends/peers begin to have a bigger impact in you than your own family. Bullying can have a big impact in you, many people have committed suicide because of it. Everyone is different, some people are not affected as much by it, others are. But the good thing is when you grow older life gets better. lol

  • Anonymous

    I like her, i really do, but she is making such a big deal of this. I was bullied my whole school life, and I didn’t killed myself, I didn’t had an eating disorder or whatever. I’ve got over it, because that’s what normal people do!! life is so much more than school.
    Come on people! GROW UP!!!

  • Anonymous

    ” Only weak people let it get to their heads. ”
    THIS!!!

  • brightstar

    Everyone’s brain is different. Some people are just made stronger. Some are more prone to depression. So while a bit of teasing may have not affected you, it might affect someone else to a great degree. Although, it isn’t just the teasing that gets people sick. There are a bunch of other things going on in their lives too, besides the teasing. Like maybe family problems and such. And they might have depression running in their family.

  • EarthChild

    Everyone’s brain is different. Some people are just made stronger. Some are more prone to depression. So while a bit of teasing may have not affected you, it might affect someone else to a great degree. Although, it isn’t just the teasing that gets people sick. There are a bunch of other things going on in their lives too, besides the teasing. Like maybe family problems and such. And they might have depression running in their family.

    I agree completely.

  • Anonymous

    OH MY GOD, stop with the bully stories. We get it…poor you got bullied and now a fucking huge star. Can someone tell this bitch to shut the fuck up. Can she stop talking about her past problems for AT LEAST one day

  • Anonymous

    I was bullied for the whole of my school years. It was bad because I went to a ‘ghetto’ school where gang violence was everywhere so I couldn’t stick up for myself because if I said anything, they all had connection to gangs. However, I kept in mind that when I finish school I will never have to see their faces again, and guess what? I’ve never seen them again. If everyone kept that in mind and have a goal to look forward to in the future, then they will somewhat cope with the emotional pain. That’s what these campaigns should advocate, not give stories about the pain bullying causes people. Do they actually think bullies will just say “oh this campaign made me want to be a better person” no.

  • Jules

    I think it’s stupid to talk shit about people because they felt hurt because they have been bullied at school, I’m happy for you if you feel so strong and so cool that nothing is going to bother you and that you don’t pay attentions to bully and everybody should be more like you, but truth is, many people live a shit situation at home too, and having people abusing them at school too turns out to be too much, they have no reason to be ashamed because of it and you have no reason to call them weak just because you happened to have been luckier (don’t get me wrong, I am a lucky person as well, but I know people that went through hell, and I would never dare to judge them because of it)

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s stupid to talk shit about people because they felt hurt because they have been bullied at school, I’m happy for you if you feel so strong and so cool that nothing is going to bother you and that you don’t pay attentions to bully and everybody should be more like you, but truth is, many people live a shit situation at home too, and having people abusing them at school too turns out to be too much, they have no reason to be ashamed because of it and you have no reason to call them weak just because you happened to have been luckier (don’t get me wrong, I am a lucky person as well, but I know people that went through hell, and I would never dare to judge them because of it)
    —————–
    I’m not judging anyone nor do I think I’m strong. I’m just trying to say that these campaigns should advocate ways in which the bullied victim can push through instead of those campaigns saying the same stuff about how bullying is bad. The bullies already know that, yet they still do it. So they should encourage the victims to aim for a goal in life. My family life is f!cked up and my school life was horrid, but I had a goal to aspire for in order to stay on track, and these campaigns should advocate that.

  • Anonymous

    I still don’t believe this. I think her hurtful habits which are the most gruesome you can do to yourself started when her mother exploited her child actor daughter to corrupt hollywood.

  • Anonymous

    Only weak people let it get to their heads. I’m lucky to have a strong personnality and great example from my parents because honestly anything bad people can say about me just makes me laugh. It doesn’t phase me at all. People should learn that to their kids.

    ———
    AGREED! many kids nowadays are narcissistic a-holes and many parents are overindulgent enablers. I work with kids every single day at my job and see the effects of this…guess what? EVERYONE gets called a name at some point in their life. i did. but did i cry and pout? no. i had enough self-esteem instilled in me to know that my value as a person is not defined by others, but by myself. parents need to teach their kids to stop being whiny babies and to value themselves.

    besides from this story, it sounds as if demi was the mean one and just got a taste of her own medicine…

  • Anonymous

    WE KNOW, WE GET IT, STOPPPPP

  • Anonymous

    DEMI YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL AND SEXY !! I LOVE U YOUR ASS WOW WOW LESBIAN FOR YOUUUU ;)

  • Anonymous

    I doubt they had a ‘Hate wall of Demi’. I mean lets be honest.

    —-
    Lol. She over exaggerates too much

  • Anonymous

    Dear everyone hating on Demi,
    You say she should get over it because you.did? Maybe it hit her harder. I can’t stand when people think that EVERYONES brains work the same as their own. No! You may be able to ignore it but others can’t and they believe it. So, next time you say ‘We get it Demi!’ Or ‘i was bullied and I got over it’ remember, you don’t know how bad her situation was.

  • Anonymous

    I NEVER got bullied in school. lol But I do remember this one time when I started high school. I was in 9th grade, it’s sort of tradition for the older students to throw eggs and water at the newbies for the first week of class (even in college sometimes), it’s not really bullying it’s for fun. Anyways, I got hit with a water ballon and I was with my friends and my cousin (same age as me) and they saw the dude that it was. So we went up to him with my cousin (same age as me) and her brother (my cousin he was in 12th grade) and my cousin asked the dude if it was him and he was scared shitless cause my cousin had a bad rep for fighting (he’s a boxer)and he was like “no no no it wasn’t me) and my cousin grabbed him by the neck lol and told him to not mess with me ever again or he would beat the shit out of him. Cool story I know. :P

  • Anonymous

    Oh and me and the dude that threw that at me we ended up becoming friends the next year.

  • Anonymous

    I doubt they had a ‘Hate wall of Demi’. I mean lets be honest.

    ________

    she’ve talked about that wall before, even before going to rehab so i think it’s true

  • Anonymous

    she’s really fat

  • Anonymous

    most agree with u

  • Anonymous

    She keeps telling her story because the magazines and everyone ask for it, she doesn’t start talking about it, they ask for it! I think she’s also tired to repeat the same story every time they interview her, don’t be rude to her, some people can be weak with problems like this and some other people don’t care as much as others…

  • Claudia23

    So basically the story is: She was a b*tch and people hated on her for that and now she complains. I’m sorry but you can’t expect people to be nice to you if you’re not. Now i get why her story didn’t really make any sense before. She would mix it up so much and people were saying she was the bully. A day she would say she was bullied then another day she’d say she was in the popular crew. Now I get it a little more and even though I’m against bullying.. I believe in karma and she maybe deserved some of it. & just btw bullying exist only because we allow it to.

  • Anonymous

    stfu. NO ONE deserves to be bullied. she went through a hell of a lot. yes, she might have done something that made them start, but she didn’t deserve the long term effects.

  • Claudia23

    Only weak people let it get to their heads. I’m lucky to have a strong personnality and great example from my parents because honestly anything bad people can say about me just makes me laugh. It doesn’t phase me at all. People should learn that to their kids.

  • Anonymous

    la ilah illa allah

  • TheStraightShooter

    I agree with the person above me. I was bullied in middle school, guess what? I got over that a long time ago. These kids that are killing themselves and have all these psychological issues because of some lame teenagers (who do not even do anything that clever or sinister because they are not smart or conniving enough) are definitely weak. The cases of bullying outside of our school years are practically non-existant, in layman’s terms–it stops. Do not allow yourself to be bullied, stand up for yourself.. yeesh!

  • marie

    dear demi,
    you still fat lol

  • N

    she’s NOT fat and was definitely not fat at the age of 12 but I think she’s pretty much admitted she used to be a bitch lol

  • Anonymous

    dear demi,
    you still fat lol

    Dear Marie, I don’t see any fat on her whatsoever, so stop being a coward and hiding behind a computer screen and go do something useful with your time. Stop putting others down just because you’re insecure. It makes you look like an idiot, clearly.

  • dana99

    demi you are the best:) much love from middle east <3 <3

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  • OM

    Bullies will never understand that people isn’t raised the same way, depression is hereditary (at some point) and your environment “family and friends” are gonna be a huge part on the development of every human being so… I got bullied and it hurts but I’m not thinking about cutting myself because of it (cutting yourself is something about control, did ya know?) but I won’t forget it, some other people doesn’t deal with their issues the same way other people does, so respect. So, saying things like you’re fat and ugly actually hurts people so yea, it’s a free world but its not an excuse to say crap about others. BTW playing a victim is other way to deal with stuff and yea we’re all victimize ourself sometimes, maybe not for the same reason but think about it man…

    ps I know my english sucks…

  • OM

    Now I’m like: who told you we’re all supposed to be STRONG and deal with people saying bullshit about you in the most awesome way like a fucking heroe? What the fuck is wrong with the fact that some people cry themselves to sleep every single night because someone called her ugly? don’t even say society is not based on what people say because oh man.. don’t even.. because society wouldn’t even exist if that was even a real fact, we’re not ROBOTS…………….. this world has flaws and I’m grateful for that… I mean “some people aren’t “”strong enough”” to not to call people names, because they don’t know how to deal with their own pain” (see what I did there?), and that’s sad, but they’re gonna learn the lesson even tho they wouldn’t ask for it, but if it wasn’t for that very reason this world would suck, and we all weren’t here…

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