Demi Lovato Says She's 'Overcome a Lot' in First Major Interview in More Than a Year
By Scott Baumgartner
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Demi Lovato is taking pride in overcoming the adversity she has faced.
On Saturday, the 27-year-old singer spoke at the Teen Vogue Summit in Los Angeles, California, where she reflected on the road that has led to her optimistic outlook. It was her first major interview since her overdose in July 2018.
"What I see in the mirror [is] someone that's overcome a lot. I've been through a lot and I genuinely see a fighter," Lovato told attendees and Teen Vogue Editor in Chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner at the event. "I don't see a championship winner, but I see a fighter and someone who is going to continue to fight no matter what is thrown in their way... I love the person that I am today."
"Over the past five years, I've learned life is not worth living unless you're living for yourself. If you're trying to be someone you're not, or you're trying to please other people, it's not going to work out in the long run," she also stated. "If you want to dye your hair purple, dye your hair purple. If you want to love someone of the same sex, love someone of the same sex. Be yourself and don't be afraid of what people think."
Lovato also discussed how she approaches body acceptance through gratitude and validates herself regularly, regardless of the doubt she might experience.
"We hear the term body positivity all the time. To be honest, I don't always feel positive about my body," she revealed. "Sometimes I do not like what I see. I don't sit there and dwell on it. I also don't lie to myself. I used to look in the mirror if I was having a bad body image day and say, 'I love my body, you're beautifully and wonderfully made.' But I didn't believe it. I don't have to lie to myself and tell myself I have an amazing body. All I have to say is 'I'm healthy.'"
"In that statement, I express gratitude. I am grateful for my strength and things I can do with my body," she added. "I am saying I'm healthy and I accept the way my body is today without changing anything... What people don’t realize is that I'm actually an extremely sensitive person, when someone says something mean on the Internet or makes fun of me, I have a pretty good sense of humor, but if it's something I have experience with it can be really hurtful… I am human, so be easy on me. And I’m so tired of pretending like I’m not human.”
Lovato -- who has been open about her past eating disorder -- also shared that as part of her dedication to both self-care and body acceptance, she "took the month of October off the gym."
"For so many years I dealt with an eating disorder. What I wasn't ever open with myself about was, whenever I was in the gym I was doing it to an unhealthy extreme," she stated. "I think that's what led me down a darker path -- I was still engaging in these behaviors."
During the interview, the singer also teased new music, but refused to offer any timeline for fans, stating: "It's important to remember that I am so cautious this time around of jumping back into things. I've really decided to take my time with things, so when the time is right to release new music, I will put it out there."
"Genuinely, I just want people to remember that I'm a singer. I think that a lot of the things I've been through kind of outshined my successes in the music industry or acting now," Lovato continued. "I just want people to remember that that's what I want to give to the world so please focus on that and not the other things."
Over the summer, a source told ET that Lovato is "in a really good place" after celebrating a year of sobriety.
"Demi is grateful for her sobriety and is taking it very seriously," the source said. "She wanted to take a break from social media to focus on more important things in her life, like her family and friends and her new music."
However, in October, Lovato faced tragedy when a friend, Thomas, died. In a post in her Instagram Story, she shared a photo of her late friend and a somber message.
"Devastated. Please hold your loved ones tight," she captioned a photo of Thomas. "Tell them they are special and that you love them. Make sure they know it. RIP to my boo @sirtruss."
She went on to give her fans some insight into what led to her friend's death, writing, "Addiction is NO joke.. heaven gained this beautiful angel last night because of that terrible disease. I'm crushed and will always miss you @sirtruss. If you or someone you know is struggling please know it's okay to ask for help."