Demi Lovato's Advice for Child Stars: 'Give Yourself a Childhood'

Demi Lovato
Todd Owyoung/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The actress decried her experience as a child star saying her early start left her feeling without an identity of her own.

Demi Lovato decried her experience as a child star while opening up to Apple Music 1's Zane Lowe about how her early start left her feeling without an identity of her own. 

"In your teens, people who aren't in the spotlight are still trying to figure themselves out," Lovato explained. "They're going to parties. They’re making mistakes. And it's like, if you're a 15-year-old and you're making mistakes, it's magnified." 

Lovato has time on her side now -- she's turning 30 on Saturday, and at last feels as though she's gained healthy perspective on where to turn next. Her album, HOLY FVCK, releases on Friday and she leaves for an international tour on Aug. 30. The three-month performance junket will be the singer's first in over four years and the first since recovering from her 2018 overdose. 

"It feels like a door that's opening to a whole new chapter of my life," she told Lowe. "I, through that door, can see things like purpose and what makes me happy."

Lovato told Lowe that she's proud of this album for how honest it’s message feels, a departure from her earlier performance image that was closely controlled by a team without her best interests at heart. "The team that was around me was dictating my decisions and trying to influence the direction that I was going," she said. "I didn't know who I was, and I had a team that was trying to force me into a direction to be this hyper-feminine pop star. And I was so unhappy doing that." 

Lovato came our as non-binary in 2021, using they/them pronouns exclusively until re-adding she/her in April. "Recently, I've been feeling more feminine, and so I've adopted she/her again," she said on the Spout podcast this month. "But I think what's important is, like, nobody's perfect. Everyone messes up pronouns at some point, and especially when people are learning. It's just all about respect." 

Now that she's in a much more comfortable place herself, Lovato told Lowe she would think twice before allowing any of her hypothetical kids to embark on the same journey. "If I were to have kids and they came to me and said, 'Mom, I want to be in the industry,' I would have to say, 'Please wait until you're 18. Give yourself a childhood,'" she said.  

In the same vein, Lovato also has words of kindness for her former self. "I would say, 'You're beautiful. You don't need to lose weight. You don't need to judge yourself so hard,'" she told Lowe. "But I couldn't have been able to comprehend those words at that time anyways. I just was in a position where everything I did was under a microscope, and so finding myself was under a microscope as well."