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Former Disney star and modern-day pop queen Demi Lovato has always been open with her fans about her journey to fame. She often talked about her past struggles with being bullied, mental health, eating disorders and depression. Lovato has always felt comfortable letting her fans into her life in order to connect with them and express that the grass is not always greener on the other side, or in this instance the side of the rich and famous. However, she takes all of this a step further with her documentary ‘Simply Complicated’, which premiered in October of 2017 on YouTube. The documentary went into the singer’s sudden rise to fame and the trials she had to face along the way. It detailed how Lovato grew up with an emotionally and mentally abusive father who had a substance abuse problem.
At a young age, she started drinking with her peers in order to fit in and had started using cocaine at the age of seventeen. Her issues worsened the more her fame increased. She talked about how much she struggled with the taxing schedule of being a Disney star. As a teen girl who was facing issues of her own, she was suddenly tasked with being a role model to millions of fans and became obsessed with having the perfect image. She detailed her anger issues, depression, constant partying and drug use, and the notorious incident with punching one of her background dancers which lead to her being admitted into a treatment facility. Getting better has always been a struggle for the musician, one that she’s still dealing with, moreover due to her recent relapse which made headlines in the summer of 2018. Demi and her friends talk about how it took years and several trips to rehabilitation centers for her to finally decide she wanted to get better, to stop drinking and using cocaine and Adderall every day.
Now at the age of twenty-six, Lovato has achieved even higher levels of success, even as she battles the daily struggles of addiction, eating disorders, and mental illness, and is shown to be, for the first time in her life, in charge of who she is. Despite her recent relapse, Lovato has the support system around her to get through her battle once and more and hopefully get back to being her true self which she expresses in her music. Not only does Demi have a unique singing voice, but has also served as an inspiration for young girls all over the world. Her music is for anyone going through a strenuous time in their lives and feel like they’re alone. Lovato wants to make sure her fans dealing with the same struggles she went through know they can make it out on the other side, despite how impossible it may seem. Whether they are struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts, or self confidence issues, Lovato uses her platform to let her fans know that it is okay to be unhappy, but the hard times won’t last forever.
Demi’s story of overcoming her depression and becoming strong has inspired many girls and boys around the world into following her footsteps into becoming purposeful individuals. Demi Lovato’s music has some similar parallels to soul music. Even though she’s predominantly known as being a pop singer, her music is heavily influenced by R&B and Soul genres which can be heard in some of her heavier songs. Lovato’s music is known as being more than a catchy tune about love. Lovato tells a story within her music, whether it’s discussing her toxic relationship with her father, relapsing with drugs, or feel confident in yourself body despite shape or size, her songs connect to plethora of audiences due to the relatable content. Soul music comes from the heart and has substance within it, something that Demi’s music can definitely be described as.
In my opinion, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the film. Despite some of her struggles previously being known to the public, it was a different experience listening to her story from her own words and the words of her closest family and friends. I thought I knew the basics of her history, however the documentary did a phenomenal job at discussing stories from different points of views and things that the many people may not have realized. It helped shine a lot on the struggles with substance abuse and eating disorders and expressed how any can be going through hell despite what it may seem like. I also liked how the second half of the documentary focused on ways Demi was trying to improve her life yet did not sugar coat the fact that some of the issues she has faced will always be a struggle she will have to face. At the end of the day, the documentary shows that Demi wants her fans to who are struggling through any issue, she is right there beside them. She wants everyone to know that no matter how many people bully you or call you names, she understands. And more importantly, Demi wants to let her audience know that even though at times she may slip up, she will and will continue to work every day to be a better, healthier, and happier version of herself and so should we.
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