4 — Demi Lovato
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to “I Weigh” with Jameela Jamil. Thank you so much for all of your messages. I really appreciate how warm and thoughtful and insightful you have all been. I’m thrilled to know that you’re enjoying the podcast and, and thank you for opening up to me about your own incredibly moving and inspiring stories. I so appreciate that and would love you to keep that going because I’m reading like everything to the point where I shouldn’t even really admit that. It makes me like a massive beg friend but I am because I want this to be the best podcast possible for all of us. And I want to know what you like less of. And I want to know who you would like to hear me interview, on what you would like for us to get into on this podcast and why I’m so, so interested and so appreciative of your feedback. I’m really excited about today’s guest. She is someone that I’ve looked up to for a really long time. She’s one of the first super famous people, women in particular, to open up about all of the most taboo subjects like mental health, addiction, rehab, overdoses, therapy, eating disorders, the way we mistreat child stars. I am talking about Demi Lovato. A woman who is not a saint, has never professed to be one. She’s just a human who has become unfathomably successful, I mean famous in a way that most of us could never even imagine. And she sacrificed her privacy and allowed in so much scrutiny and accusations of hypocrisy and, and smearing and lies from the media and from society just to be able to make sure that if she is open, then she will hopefully let her fans feel like they, too, can be open and feel seen and heard in whatever struggle they’re going through, because she’s going through it, too. You don’t see a lot of people do this because of how hard society is on them when they do. In fact, just this week there is a bloody hashtag going around. It’s trending saying “#DemiLovatoIsOverParty. Now, look, I understand that it is important to call out behavior that you don’t like. I understand the importance of Cancel Culture, especially when someone is really malicious and willingly harmful and refuses to learn and can never really make up for the terrible, violent, awful things they’ve done. Like Harvey Weinstein can fuck off for absolute ever. There is nothing he can ever do that can make up for all the lives that he has taken emotionally. But god damn the cancel-itis now, like the fact that we call it a person is over party like the joy, the vitriol, how much people enjoy dog piling on one human if they dont like their behavior. I don’t know if that is the most constructive way to instigate change. It’s just like a witch hunt. And so yes, we have to be able to call people out and to make them accountable for their actions. But it’s just like a sport now. It’s like a social sport. I’m definitely someone who’s somewhat been on the receiving end of it. Not too bad. I’m not that famous. And, and also people tend to be I guess they like learning with me. So when I fuck up, sometimes it’s in ways that other people have also fucked up. And so they join me on that journey and I’m very glad to be called out and criticize. But oh, some of the celebrities or people in power or politicians, the way they get spoken about over one mistake that they could easily remedy and they are canceled as if we want them to die and disappear when actually they could be quite helpful to us if they learn and improve. It’s just I don’t know. It’s all very frustrating. But we actually go into that subject in this podcast. We recorded it before this latest controversy in the media. But she does talk about Cancel Culture as she has been on the receiving end of it for a long part of her career. And we talk about everything that she’s been through. She rarely does interviews. And so I’m so honored and touched that she felt safe to go so deep with me during this episode. She’s someone that I like very much personally. And I think that this is going to be a nice and refreshing insight into someone so famous who the media has created such a narrative around and has made us think we know her, but we don’t. So enjoy this episode from the very real, very inspiring, very cool and very human, Demi Lovato. I’m so excited that you’re here. Demi Lovato. I have been interviewing you for a decade and the feeling never grows old on me. Thank you so much for being here.
DEMI LOVATO [00:04:57] Thank you.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:04:58] We go back.
DEMI LOVATO [00:04:59] I’m not actually there but-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:05:01] No, that’s true. We are social distancing. Yeah.
DEMI LOVATO [00:05:04] We are very social distancing right now.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:05:07] You are in your very neat house. I can see on the video. Is this real? Have you done this just for me?
DEMI LOVATO [00:05:12] Pretty much. No, my, I’m staying with my family and my mom, like all she does all day, is clean. So it’s been nice ’cause I haven’t had to clean much. But she just, that’s like her way of staying busy during quarantine is just like top to bottom cleaning all day long. So.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:05:31] Wow. My boyfriend is the exact opposite of your mother.
DEMI LOVATO [00:05:34] That’s awesome.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:05:34] He’s just dirtying everything he can find. Just-.
DEMI LOVATO [00:05:40] I mean, I kind am too. I spill on everything. I’ve had to clean my comforter like four times now. Because I spill so much stuff on it.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:05:48] I keep finding granola in my tits.
DEMI LOVATO [00:05:53] What?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:05:53] Just like buried inside of my tits. I, like, I’m find-, it hurts. It’s like it’s digging against my bra. But it’s a really-.
DEMI LOVATO [00:06:00] You know, that’s not really a problem. I don’t feel sorry for you because stuff can hide in your chest. It just falls straight down with me.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:06:11] Well, you’re lucky because that means, well, I guess I don’t know. Then it’s going down to your underpants, which is another, another nightmare.
DEMI LOVATO [00:06:17] That’s a bigger problem.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:06:21] Yeah.
DEMI LOVATO [00:06:21] That I don’t have that problem.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:06:22] Ok so other than the fact that your mother is cleaning frantically. How is your quarantine? How are you? How are you keeping yourself sane?
DEMI LOVATO [00:06:30] My quarantine has been going really well. I initially was like, it was kind of crazy because so I actually have this spiritual guru person that I see. And she told me several months ago she was like, when your new music starts to take off, be prepared that it’s going to come to, it’s going to slow down a lot. Like right at as things are taking off, it’s going to slow down. When I was like, “What does that mean”? And she, she was like, “I don’t really know, but that’s just what’s going to happen. So don’t panic”. And so when this happened originally, I was like, “Oh, this is what she was saying”. And so-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:07:10] She meant the world was gonna slow down.
DEMI LOVATO [00:07:12] No, she just thought, she just was saying and for what she saw for me, it was gonna slow down. And then things did. And then they actually kind of stopped. So I’ve just I really use this time to like spend time with my family. I finally watched the entire “Harry Potter” series. I’m obsessed.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:07:33] Right.
DEMI LOVATO [00:07:34] So.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:07:35] Slightly late to the party. Slightly.
DEMI LOVATO [00:07:38] Slightly late. Yup. But it’s okay.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:07:41] Okay. Good. I. I think that that’s really important. It’s something that I’ve been talking about a lot online, which is that, you know, there’s all this pressure for people to be creative and to create and to become a Tik Tok star and to, you know, become, just to stop putting out work or finish that screenplay or that book. And there’s a lot of talk of that that is making people feel very pressured because they feel a little bit frozen in the fact that everything is so disorientating. They’re stuck inside their houses. A lot of people don’t well, don’t do well working around a lot of people. It’s just it’s not necessarily a conducive environment for people to create. Not for everyone to create. And so I’ve been saying to people that use this opportunity, if you can’t be productive in that way, which I can’t. I have nothing, I have nothing to fucking say right now. The only thing I can do is start to heal myself and take this moment of lock in to just look at what happened over the last couple of years that has stressed me out. Why is my health the way it is. Why is my mental health the way it is and start to unpack it really, really tenderly. To have time and space to be tender, I think is really important.
DEMI LOVATO [00:08:46] Yeah. Like I, I’m the same way. I don’t really do well working from home. And if I’m home, I want to relax. I want to spend time with whoever I am with or my dogs. And I just do better in the studio. I do better on set, you know? So this, I haven’t created much while I’ve been quarantining, but I have been doing a lot of growth. And that’s journaling, meditating, guided prayers, church like services from my phone, things like that.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:09:24] Also, I think you’ll, you’re no stranger to self isolating. If we look at like periods and like moments of like you taking a step back from the industry or being off tour just to write another record and being so, so famous and needing and not being able to necessarily always go and do the things, especially not in the, in the sort of like the, like the first 10 years you weren’t always able to, like most pop stars, able to go outside and just be a regular kid. So you would stay indoors.
DEMI LOVATO [00:09:54] There’s, what’s funny is like one, I’m a homebody because I don’t love, I don’t love fame. I love being able to reach a lot of people with my music and help them. And I love being able to use my platform for the greater good. But when it comes to paparazzi or getting recognized and things like that, that’s just not a part that I really enjoy. So I stay home anyways, I’m a homebody. So yes, I’m much more used to self isolation, but I’m also really used to it because I was joking with some friends that I met in treatment before. I was like, this is, this just feels like rehab. I mean, like you get, you’re on lockdown at, at a facility. Which most of the time is like a house looking place or, you know, they’ve got beds and then you don’t, except in rehab, you don’t get TV or your phone. And so this is actually like luxurious.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:10:45] They give you no TV in rehab?
DEMI LOVATO [00:10:47] No, you, no, you don’t get to-. I mean, occasionally, depending on where you go, you get movie night. But there, it has to be like prescreened like it’s just, you know. You’re, you don’t get to go to the store at whenever you want or Postmates whatever you want. You know? So it’s just interesting. I was like, I’m glad that I’ve already pretty much done this a few times in my life.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:11:12] Exactly. I’m a, I’m an introvert and weirdo. So this for me is just perfect.
DEMI LOVATO [00:11:19] I think that’s why we get along well.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:11:20] Yeah. Exactly. That’s why. Yeah. We’ve. Was it 10 years ago I first met you?
DEMI LOVATO [00:11:25] Yes, I was-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:11:26] 10, 11 years ago.
DEMI LOVATO [00:11:28] Maybe 11. Yeah. Because I was sixteen.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:11:30] Jesus. Well you were a joy then. You’re a joy now. And watching you rise over that course of time has just been so fascinating and inspiring, especially because of how you have chosen to maneuver your career and navigate being a famous person, being a role model and whether or not you choose to be. I’ve always considered you a role model. You’ve been a role model of mine for like a decade.
DEMI LOVATO [00:11:56] Thank you.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:11:56] And, and in particular, you were one of the first people I’ve ever seen really speak out about the things that you did and really come out. And you were the first, but I remember the first time you spoke out about eating disorders and eating disorders within, you know, being a child star and the way that you would talk about mental health or addiction or rehab or the importance of therapy. You were doing this from such a young age. And so that’s kind of why you were the perfect person to come onto this podcast for me. You were my dream guest.
DEMI LOVATO [00:12:25] Oh, thank you. I mean, when I saw this podcast, I was like, I have to do this at some point. One, love you. Second, love what it stands for. And I love the message behind it. So it was a no brainer for me.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:12:38] What was that decision to start speaking out? Because, I mean, you could, this couldn’t have happened at a more ti-, a time where women were more controlled. We were so controlled back then in particular. This was pre-“Me Too”, pre-“Time’s up”. We were not advised by our publicists or by our managers or agents to be real with people. We were just told to be thin and cute and sexy and mysterious.
DEMI LOVATO [00:12:59] Yeah, well, that is congestion from allergies not Covid-19.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:13:06] Ok, good. Thank you.
DEMI LOVATO [00:13:08] I’ve always had that before now. Whenever it rains in L.A., my allergies get crazy. But anyway, so I you know, at the time when I had first stepped out onto the scene, well one, I kind of had this thing happen to me where someone prophesied over me at a Pentecostal church convention. And it was just basically said, they said, “You’re gonna be a hero to thousands of people someday and its gonna be through art”. And I was like, “Oh, my gosh, that’s music. I’m ready. I’m so ready”. And so I kind of made this little pact with God, which you’re totally not supposed to do anyways. Where I was like-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:13:48] What does that look like? Are you in an alley of some sort doing a deal?
DEMI LOVATO [00:13:52] Yes, I’m in an alley. No, I’m actually on Zoom with god. And no, he, and I like, “You know, if you let me be a singer and live my dreams, then I will return the favor by constantly spreading your word and being a good role model and like trying to help”. Right? And use it for the greater good.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:14:14] How old were you when you made your back alley deal with God?
DEMI LOVATO [00:14:17] I like, 13, I think. Or 14. I don’t, I don’t even remember how old I was, but it was pretty wild. Yeah. So fast forward several years. I just knew that when I stepped on the scene. I mean, nobody had talked about bullying before. Really, I came clean with what I had dealt with in school. And then and then right after that, there was that documentary “Bully”. And that kind of that message kind of took over the headlines for a while. And it was a topic of conversation. But I knew from the beginning that I wanted to talk about that because that was something I dealt with that no one in my eyes had really said anything about that I could have really utilized at that tender age of 12, 13 when I was.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:15:05] I didn’t know I didn’t know about any of this, what happened at school?
DEMI LOVATO [00:15:09] So I. I. It was just like mean girls stuff. It was never like physical altercation. And they threatened me on the last day of school. But there was like a suicide petitions like that everyone signed trying to-. Yeah. Like saying, “If you want Demi to kill herself, sign it”. And it was just like it was, it was terrible. And it was and it scarred me. And emotionally, it was a lot more devastating than a physical incident. I kind of said multiple times back then, I was like, “I wish they would have just hit me and gotten it over with”. Like, at least I could have fought back. Like this emotional turmoil that they’re doing, they kind of like, that was the beginning of my eating disorder. And so those things I knew I wanted to talk about when I went into treatment in 2010. I came out and while I was in there, my manager at the time had said, “You know, do you want to, you can either, we can stay private about this or we can talk about it and it’s up to you”. And I was like, “You know, I feel like it wouldn’t help anybody if I just stayed private and didn’t talk about it”. So I talked about it. But the problem was, as you know, I learned in that moment that, like, I kind of sacrifice my well-being for everyone else’s. And over time I thought that by being totally transparent with the public was going to do, was going to hold me accountable and heal me. But really, it just kind of put me in a position that was, I felt like people were setting me up for failure in a way. Where like when you put someone on a pedestal. There’s only one way for them to go. You can’t go anywhere but down for, if you’re all the way up here. So, you know, people just kind of, when you’re, when you’re kind of the poster child for something, people will try to find details or start rumors and things like that and-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:17:01] Find examples of hypocrisy, go back through all of your old social media and your old like Tumblr accounts and, or they’ll just make it out if they can’t find anything. They’ll just come up with their own.
DEMI LOVATO [00:17:11] Yeah. And then there’s also the pressure of like kind of it’s not like, I don’t know, I just felt obligated to talk about everything I was going through and continued to go through. But over the past year or year and a half, I’ve really withdrawn from the public eye. And I’ve learned so much and it’s been so valuable to me. I’ve learned that I have to keep things to myself in order for me to heal, because being transparent doesn’t always heal you.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:17:44] Mmhmm. I think being transparent with healthcare workers and and friends and family that can handle that information is great. But I really, really feel you when it comes to speaking out about something. And also I found this, I remember speaking out first of all about eating disorders. And once I spoken out about that, then suddenly people wanted to talk to me about everything. It’s like, “Well, what do you think of these issues or LGBTQ or this side of the body positive movement”? And you suddenly become treated as if you are an expert on everything and because you don’t want to let your fans down or feel like you’re closing them out in any way by saying, “I don’t want to answer that question”, you sort of just start trying stuff out and, and saying how you feel about things. And if that thing is not said perfectly, you and I, you on a bigger scale because you are way more successful than me, get dragged to within an inch of our lives for just not having had the time to be practiced yet and becoming the sort of, as you said, “poster child” for just telling the truth. And in an industry where most people are so polished, so careful about what they say, so guarded by publicists, they don’t say what’s on their mind. They don’t talk about real issues. They talk about the, how they maintain their appearance or their love life or the project that they’re promoting. They don’t talk about themselves or any big issues that matter or any kind of systemic forms of oppression. And you did. And I, I definitely know that I’ve watched you be expected to speak for all people who’ve struggled with mental health issues or addiction or eating disorders, as if people from those groups are a monolith, as if one person could ever speak to each of those experiences.
DEMI LOVATO [00:19:16] Yeah. And what’s interesting, too, is like people expect you to talk about these issues right after you’ve dealt with something. So, I mean, it’s been, however, long since July 2018. I’m still healing. You know, I don’t have all the answers and I’m not going to for a long time. And even when I, like in 2010, when I went through stuff, I came out of treatment and had my first interview within like a month. And it was just kind of insane to think that I, I had the audacity to think that I had the answers a month after coming out of treatment. Like it’s just not realistic for anyone to look at me for the answers. I can give you advice on what’s helped me through my experiences. But I, I, you know, I am never going to always say the right thing about these topics, especially because it’s not a one size fits all solution. And I used to think that it was, but it’s just not that way.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:20:26] Yeah. And we weaponize it. Sorry, I was just gonna say we weaponize it against those who speak out or stand up to big corporations or big patriarchal ideals. The people who push back get punished by the media sometimes. They get like hailed as the great savior, and like you’re a saint. Demi’s a saint. Demi’s speaking for the people. Demi’s is the best feminist. And then and then comes like almost like a cycle after two years, like to just try and prod holes in you and find mistakes. And this, I mean, it’s a cyclical way of the media for all women. Meghan Markle, Roxane Gay. Like you just find any woman who breaks the mold and dares to step outside of her pigeonhole. It’s such an interesting like rise to the top in a way that we haven’t asked for, you haven’t, you hadn’t asked to be put on that pedestal. But it’s a perfect height, as you said, to be kicked off. And it’s a long way down. So I love you for the fact that you have still continued to find ways either through your art or through your social media to connect with your fans and still uplift them.
DEMI LOVATO [00:21:25] Thank you.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:21:25] I was gonna ask you when the first time you realized you were struggling with your mental health was.
DEMI LOVATO [00:21:33] I guess I realized when I was like 11 was the first time I understood the term mental health. I had started showing signs of depression and suicidal ideations at the age of 7. And, but I hadn’t understood what the term mental health was. So it wasn’t until I was a little bit older that I realized that I was struggling. When I was 7 and I was struggling, I just was like, “Oh, this is just how I feel”. I didn’t realize it was a problem. So when when I was able to get some help and talk to the guidance counselor at school and then I realized I could be doing things to better my mental health. And, but still, you know, when you’re, when you’re in middle school, it’s it’s not easy. And sometimes you just choose to suffer rather than putting in the work, because you don’t really have a lot of hope that it’s going to get better. Middle school is really hard.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:22:35] And you don’t have any information that’s out there.
DEMI LOVATO [00:22:39] Yeah. Well, and that’s another problem, is they really need to be teaching the stuff in school. If you don’t, if you’re teaching students the signs of bipolar disorder or other mental illnesses or eating disorders or substance abuse, if you’re teaching people the signs of these issues, then it might plant the seed and strike awareness in their head earlier and they can catch it earlier. You know?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:23:06] Well knowledge is power. Like we can’t, especially not with social media. We can’t protect kids from the Internet.
DEMI LOVATO [00:23:11] No.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:23:11] We can’t stop them.
DEMI LOVATO [00:23:13] And it’s better that we teach them in school, then the Internet anyways. I wish that I would have learned everything from school rather than the Internet. But unfortunately, I learned so much from the Internet before I learned in school.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:23:24] And there’s no one to combat that information so you have to navigate porn, revenge porn, photo shopping, airbrushing, photographs, face tune, all these different things that kids are coming up with. I cannot. I don’t think I would be alive. Honestly, like knowing how fragile my mental health is. How had I grown up in this moment now of social media, I don’t know how I would have made it through. And that’s why I guess it’s so important to have these conversations about what is true and how much of what we see in media and social media is such bullshit.
DEMI LOVATO [00:23:54] Yes, definitely.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:23:56] So, OK, so then, of course, you go through extreme bullying in your teens, which then I imagine worsens your mental health and triggers your eating disorder. And also, do I remember correctly you talking about the fact that the industry was also perpetuating your eating disorder?
DEMI LOVATO [00:24:13] Yeah. I mean, well you, and we’ve had tons of conversations about how image in the media can be and the pressures that are put on women in the industry. I was just, what, 15, 16, 17, 18? And, and so I was young and dealing with pressure, a changing body as an adolescent. And then I just the only way that I knew how to control my, my overworking, overworked schedule was to control my food. And, and I also learned to cope with depression and other things that way, too. So, yeah, it’s definitely exacerbated my eating disorder. It did not help at all. Photo shoots and movies and videos and things being in front of cameras did not help.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:25:05] No, for sure. And also, sample fucking sizes, you and I, you and I meet up for private rants about all of this shit. So it’s nice to be able to share this with the world, but sample sizes. They aren’t-.
DEMI LOVATO [00:25:17] I don’t, I don’t know many people that are sample sizes and that’s crazy that it’s called “the sample size” because that’s supposed to represent most women.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:25:25] Yeah.
DEMI LOVATO [00:25:26] But women are not sample sizes. So it is frustrating. And you know, hopefully that starts to change.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:25:33] So for people who don’t know, a sample size is basically when you have designers and they’re creating a runway show, all of their pieces will be made one size. That size is fucking tiny.
DEMI LOVATO [00:25:46] And what people don’t realize is people think, “Oh, well, why is that important? Why does it matter to fit into a sample size”? Well, if you want to be on the cover of Vogue magazine someday. You got to be seen wearing the hottest piece before anyone else does. And those pieces aren’t made in other sizes yet. They are made in only sample sizes. So in order to be seen in that Versace outfit before whoever else is seen in it, you have to be able to fit into it. And unfortunately, like if you don’t fit the sample size, then you’re not getting the hottest stuff at the hottest time.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:26:20] And you can’t and you can’t promote your work. It’s like a contract. We have to promote our work.
DEMI LOVATO [00:26:25] Yeah. And you can’t. You don’t. I, I’ve never really. I haven’t done the whole fashion thing yet. Like I’ve never been to Fashion Week in Paris or New York, like I’ve never done any of that, and because, one, because I’ve been so hyper aware of my recovery that like I don’t want to trigger myself, but two, I don’t want to show up to a fashion week where, you know, most people are expected you to show up wearing example sizes. And so I kind of like I’ve not done the fashion thing. And until, like, you know, I make it a priority to get that cover and to chase that goal and that dream and to be a fashion person. Like until that’s important to me, I’m just going to focus on other stuff.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:27:14] Yeah also, also, I’m glad that now you have a stylist, we have the same stylist who’s willing to help you find clothes that fit your fucking body or he will make them fit your body. I love Law Roach for that. He’s a proper feminist.
DEMI LOVATO [00:27:27] Law is amazing.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:27:27] But yeah, I just wear everything open, at the back like a bib. Sort of like a, like an apron. And so my bum is out most of the time. I have a freezing cold asshole because it’s always out, baring it to the world. Moonwalking down the red carpet so no one can see. Yeah, I, it’s something that I’ve just I’ve never been able to fit into them. I’m 5’10.I have, I’ve, I have hips.
DEMI LOVATO [00:27:53] I’m also like 5’3 like three quarters, I don’t know. I’m, I’m not 5’10. I am known as tall as a model. So I have to shorten everything. It just it’s complicated for me in many different ways.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:28:09] And I imagine there must have been so much pressure with that because there was a while where you were just never at the public all you were always touring, always having to fit into these costumes on, on, on stage and always in the magazines, always on the red carpet, going to all these different awards ceremonies, winning all these awards. Was that driving that into a frenzy with eating disorder stuff?
DEMI LOVATO [00:28:31] Yeah. I mean, I think, I think it’s really interesting that as my career just started to take off again, it slowed down. And I, I almost think it’s God’s way of protecting me, because when I do get super busy, that is one way that I have in the past tried to manage my schedule is by, you know, finding some way to control my food. And food or exercise and yes, that was heavily perpetuated when I was super, super busy and now things started, things like they were taking off, they just slowed down again. And so I’ve been able to like really ease into work again. And it’s been really nice. But yes, that definitely was a stressor for me.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:29:23] I loved the fact that for you, having grown up for such a long time, struggling with an eating disorder and struggling with trying to maintain this, this incredibly slender physique and trying to fit into the size that all pop stars are supposed to fit into. I love the fact that you pushed back and posted curvaceous photographs of yourself with empowering messages of self-love for your body. And now you’ve become one of the faces of, of learning how to accept your image and and learning how to love the skin that you’re in that’s become such a, you are one of the only faces out there in the mainstream on your level who now represents being able to push back against the standards and, and love yourself as you are.
DEMI LOVATO [00:30:08] Well, you know, I just kind of, it was like a year ago. A year, almost a year and a half ago, I was in treatment and I was thinking, “All right, here we are again. I really need to get a hold of this thing because it has now followed me back into treatment”, and along with other issues. And I thought, “All right, what do I have to do to beat this? Finally, for good, because I can’t disguise it with over exercising and dieting and called that healthy”. Like for me, that, I was in a mental prison in my head. For some people, they can exercise twice a day and not be in a mental prison. But that’s not me. I just.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:30:57] Did you weaponize? Did you weaponize food? I weaponized the shit out of food. Food was comfort, food was, food was love, food was rebellion. Food was-.
DEMI LOVATO [00:31:06] Yeah, it was everything to me. It was everything. And so I was just like, you know, I talk to my, one of the people that was helping me with my eating disorder. And she was like, “What would you say? What would you do if I, what would you say if I told you that the only way to heal from your eating disorder is to not whip yourself back into that tiptop, perfect shape you want to be in before your next photo shoot”? And I was like, “Well, I don’t. I don’t know”. And she was like, “You can’t do both. You have to choose”. And so I just I chose. I was, and I was like, “I’m just tired of living in that mental prison of like trying to lose weight to look good for my Fabletics’ campaigns and things like that, which nobody there puts pressure, pressure on me. They’ve been amazing. Yeah, I was just like, she, she, you know, she said to me, she was like, “I use this example in treatment all the time. I say to my my clients, raise your hand if you want to lose weight. Like pretend you’re swimming in the ocean. And I tell you, you have to stay afloat. Right? But raise your hand if you want to lose weight”. So you raise your hand, right? Because we all do, in like eating disorder recovery or like in early eating disorder recovery. And then she was like, “OK, raise your hand if you’re willing to do something about it”. And I went to raise my other hand and she was like, “But how are you going to stay afloat if you do both”? She said, “It’s okay to want to lose weight. It’s OK. That is a natural thing. But acting upon it is what puts you in danger. And then you can’t swim. You can’t stay afloat if you have both hands in the air”. And I was like, “Wow”. So I really utilized that message a lot over the past year. Like, it’s OK for me to look in the mirror and be like, I’m not where I want to be. That’s OK. Am I acting on it? No. And that’s what’s going to keep me on the right path is not acting on it.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:33:11] We’re going to go to a quick break and then we’re going to come right back.
DEMI LOVATO [00:33:13] Ok.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:33:20] And we’re back. So what would you say has helped you when it comes to your recovery? Specifically, what has helped you? I know that you’ve had like rehab and you have therapy. Has, have you unfollowed people on social media that you find triggering when it comes to images? Have you done a good mute? I mute the people that I don’t want to controversially unfollow?
DEMI LOVATO [00:33:42] Well, you know, it’s hard because some of my friends are really fucking beautiful people. And I don’t want to mute my friends.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:33:50] No.
DEMI LOVATO [00:33:50] So, like, you know, it’s like, like if I know, if I don’t really know the person, then, yes, I’ll mute them or unfollow or whatever. But for me, I think what’s been the most helpful is I had to reject the term “body positivity”. I had to like really, and I think you were the one that taught me about this was “body acceptance”. And of just like, “I’m not always going to feel okay in the skin that I’m in”. And for so many years, I kept lying to myself. And I thought that by telling myself, I thought the term “fake it, until you make it” was the way to go. I would look in the mirror and be like, “You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful”. But I would just lie to myself and then and then just lying to myself felt even shittier. So then I was like, “Ok, well, now I’m just not believing it and it’s not working. So now what”? So what I started doing was like, “Ok, I’m not there yet and I’m not gonna be there yet. If I keep doing this. What I need to do is shift my thinking into gratitude”. So when I look in the mirror, instead of saying it’s not where I want to be or I’m beautiful and I don’t believe it. I look in the mirror and say, “What are facts that I know about my body? My body survived something insane. A near-death experience. And I’m here today. So I’m grateful for my strength. I’m grateful for my strength that I’m able to bounce back from that and still be able to work out and do things like MMA, things that I love. That I’m able to play instruments with my hands, that I am healthy and that, you know, I’m taking care of myself”. Just things like that. And then also, I think the biggest thing for me was learning to legalize food. I knew that was a huge step in the beginning of my eating disorder recovery. But for so long it, I couldn’t bring myself to get there. So I would think to myself, OK. So I used to have this obsession with Twinkies. Right? Like this was like in 2016, ’17. I had this obsession with Twinkies.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:36:08] I love that, such a basic food. So good. I love a Twinkie, by the way.
DEMI LOVATO [00:36:11] I mean, it’s, I. OK. So here’s what happened. So I, I was working with somebody who was like, “I want you to eat a Twinkie at every meal”. And I was like, “What”? And like it didn’t end up happening. But that was her, her way of like, “You need to introduce it. Have one Twinkie, not both, but one at every meal”. So she started, she taught me this thing and then my dietitian ended up teaching me, whenever you are craving a certain food, you need to allow yourself to have it. Ask yourself what are your intentions? And if you just really want it. Just order it. So for a while there, I allowed myself to eat a Twinkie whenever the fuck I wanted. Then I ate so many fucking Twinkies that I got sick of them.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:36:59] Yeah, I was gonna say, can you even look at a Twinkie now?
DEMI LOVATO [00:37:02] Oh, you mentioned it. I was like ack. Like I just don’t, I don’t crave it anymore. And what went, it went from this forbidden food and the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden to now I don’t even crave it. And I’ve adapted that mentality with food and legalization in my life. And it’s helped so much to where right now I am currently legalizing “In and Out”. So I’m having it. But when I went through my legalization with “Taco Bell” and I’m like a little sick of it, sadly, because I, which I never thought could happen.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:37:40] No, I’ve done the same thing recently with pizza.
DEMI LOVATO [00:37:45] Right. So it just is like, and I went for it with sweets where like for years I binged on sweets. That’s all I would binge on.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:37:51] And your bingeing was like mine, it was secret. Right? You wouldn’t binge in front of other people. You would binge on your own.
DEMI LOVATO [00:37:57] I couldn’t. I wasn’t allowed to. Like I had to in secret.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:38:02] Because you were around so many people that would scold you for it, who you work with.
DEMI LOVATO [00:38:07] Yes.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:38:07] Worked, past tense, with.
DEMI LOVATO [00:38:10] Yeah, so. You know, I knew that I had to keep it a secret. And most of the time, it didn’t stay a secret. But I. Yeah. It was just. One of those things where, where I had to keep it a secret and then once I legalized sweets over the past year, I rarely ever have them because I just, and I think that we live in a, in a society today where people teach us that certain foods are bad and we have to eliminate the term “bad” and just allow ourselves to have it. If it’s gonna bring us joy, let it bring you joy.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:38:44] Yeah, it’s a lot of coding with like good food, bad food, healthy food, unhealthy, clean, dirty, I think is one of the most damaging.
DEMI LOVATO [00:38:51] Yeah, and I still have to check myself out when I say I need to start eating clean again. Like when this whole thing happened and I was like, “I need to clean up my diet. I need to eat healthier”. And my dietician was like, “Can we just try to rework your wording around that? Because I don’t think that’s a healthy way of looking at it. If you want to enhance your, the nutritional value in your food so that your body will benefit from it, that’s a different thing. That’s more beneficial to your mental health”.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:39:19] Yeah, I think that’s really great. And that’s been, I had therapy, I had EMDR therapy for my binge eating issues. So I would binge, stop, binge, stop, binge, stop. I think I did that for almost 20 years, which is a really, that so much to put your digestive system through.
DEMI LOVATO [00:39:34] Right.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:39:34] And I mean, I would eat until I was literally having to Skype my poor boyfriend at the time on all fours because it was the only way I could breathe.
DEMI LOVATO [00:39:43] You told me this.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:39:43] I told you.
DEMI LOVATO [00:39:43] I mean, that’s, that and the fact that you share that over this interview is so awesome. Like you’re fearless.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:39:53] I would literally not be able to breathe unless I was on all fours. I would have to create gravity space for my fucking stomach.
DEMI LOVATO [00:40:01] What people don’t realize is the amount of stress that puts on your stomach. You can, your stomach rupture.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:40:05] I know.
DEMI LOVATO [00:40:07] From bingeing that hard.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:40:08] A model died from that. A model binge to death. She consumed something like 19 pounds of food. And I think her stomach burst. It was pretty intense. Yeah.
DEMI LOVATO [00:40:20] People don’t realize how dangerous eating disorders are. It’s actually in the United States. The number one.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:40:27] Cause of death.
DEMI LOVATO [00:40:28] Leading cause of death with mental health issues. And people don’t realize that because they don’t put it on the death certificate as anorexia or bulimia, they put organ failure or heart failure. You know, people don’t, and then people don’t see that it was caused by the eating disorder. So they don’t realize that the statistic is so high and it’s really scary. I knew of girls that had gone to the treatment center I went to, that one girl, I think she was like 19 or 20 and she wasn’t underweight, but she was bulimic and her heart gave out, just from the stress that it put on her heart. And that, that is really, really frightening. You know?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:41:13] Me reading about Karen Carpenter and how she actually died once she was trying to, the singer Karen Carpenter, when she was, she’d been anorexic for her entire career. And it was when she was actually in recovery trying to gain weight again, that that’s when her heart failed, because I think the weight gain, I believe, came on like too fast because she starved for so long. So when you starved yourself for a really long period of time, your body, once you start eating, it like, you know, and we see this because we’re cyc-, we’ve been cyclical dieters. So like once you, your metabolism slows down and your body goes in starvation mode of some sort. I’m not a doctor. I can’t use that term with any kind of authority. But your body hangs on to food and hangs on to fat as soon as it, after, after it’s been deprived for a long period of time. And reading about the fact that that’s how much of a trap this is, that sometimes even when you’re trying to get better if you do it too fast.
DEMI LOVATO [00:42:00] Yes.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:42:00] Yeah, just the whole thing to freak me out and I realized that I, you know, we only ever have as, as somewhat of a window of opportunity to really be able to salvage ourselves. And my body is never really going to get better. Like my kidneys are never gonna get better because I took, I did, I took all the teas, I bought all the products, I did all the cheap methods. I wasn’t just a traditional binge and starver. I was taking every shortcut I could possibly find on the Internet, ordering all kinds of powders and bullshit, which is why I’m such a maniac now when I see anyone else pushing anything. But it’s-.
DEMI LOVATO [00:42:31] No, you’ve made a difference, which is amazing.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:42:33] Yeah, and I’m glad that I’ve managed to at least reduce the amount. That video of me shitting on a toilet has at the very least made it too embarrassing to sell any of these teas or products. I don’t know if I’m going to be on the cover of GQ anytime soon. Since that video but that’s not ok. Yeah, offers from male magazines dried right up. Has speaking out about this, other than the fact that I know it’s massively invaded your privacy and held you to impossible standards, has it also been a relief and has it been nice to not have to keep that secret in? And has it been nice to have millions of girls around the world be able to feel seen and heard because of the way that you’ve clapped back and spoken out about things?
DEMI LOVATO [00:43:20] I know that I am fulfilled by what change I can make in this world. That’s what’s fulfilling for me. Not awards, not records, not numbers. I still have not looked at a chart since I really sober, which was 2018. I, I didn’t look at the charts for anyone, I don’t look at them for “I Love Me”. I just don’t fucking care because that’s not why I do this. Like I released music with a message so that I can get my story out and so that I can share my music for people that I think are going to relate and need it.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:43:52] And you made it. You made the deal with God. So you owe, you owe God. You made a ton of money and you have loads of Instagram followers. You owe God big.
DEMI LOVATO [00:44:07] No. You know what’s great about him is I don’t owe him anything. He’s gonna love me no matter what.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:44:14] Yeah.
DEMI LOVATO [00:44:14] I choose. But anyways, like I say, the fulfillment that I get from talking about body image issues and body acceptance and trying to help young people build their selves to see, self esteems and just other things that we’ve talked about, you know, being able to talk about this stuff has been really fulfilling because there was nobody doing that that I was looking up to when I was 12 or 13. And that was like that was really sad for me because the only people that, I think there was like people, women that were in their 40s and 50s that had been stars in the past that were finally coming out talking about their eating disorder recovery. But that was nothing that I could relate to because I was a 12 year old and I was like, I need somebody whose body is changing right now to be able or has had a change, has gone through puberty with an eating disorder like I need that to talk to and to look up to.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:45:11] And also someone who’s, someone who’s fallen and has been able to pick themselves back up again.
DEMI LOVATO [00:45:16] Yes. And I know I needed a real because in the time that I was you know, that was when young Hollywood, everyone was sickly thin, when the term heroine chic was like what people used to describe the fashion supermodel look. And that was so unhealthy for me to grow up looking up to.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:45:39] Same, same.
DEMI LOVATO [00:45:39] So I’m. So I’m, I’m really, I’m grateful that my little sister has had people who, she’s 18 now and she’s, she’s done awesome. I’m so happy that she’s turned out to be such a strong and courageous woman. But she also is just so confident in herself. And she, she, like it, is all about body acceptance, too. And she has all these other women to look up to.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:46:12] She’s probably got the right vocabulary and dialog for it that we didn’t have when we were younger.
DEMI LOVATO [00:46:17] Absolutely. And, you know, it’s really, really cool to be able to witness that. And I, and I hopefully have had something to do with that. And.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:46:26] Yes.
DEMI LOVATO [00:46:27] A way of making it acceptable.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:46:28] I don’t know. I don’t know if I would have spoken out. Without someone like you to look up to and the fact that you were just, I used to sit opposite you in interviews and not be able to fucking believe some of the shit that you were saying on television or on live radio like cause I would interview all of these polished pop stars and actors and actresses all of the time who would just give me these sort of like almost robotic level media trained answers. And then you just be like, “Well I just came back from rehab and therapy, therapy, therapy, and you need, everyone needs rehab”. And you were just.
DEMI LOVATO [00:47:01] Yeah, yeah, yeah.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:47:02] I mean, it’s on tape. Like this. You just didn’t give a fuck. You would talk about your body and you would talk about just, I mean, you talked. There was nowhere that you wouldn’t go with me over the last 10 years and all these little moments that we would find each other. We’re gonna come back and I want to talk more about this in a second. Ok, we’re back. I want to talk to you about, what do you think has been your steepest learning curve over the course of your career?
DEMI LOVATO [00:47:36] My steep learning curve over the course of my career was, well, I think that learning to set boundaries with other people is OK. That was something that I have just learned over the past year and a half. I had to learn that by not setting boundaries it put me in the position that I was in. Right? So talking about every detail of every part of my life, whether it be a relationship or whether it be my recovery, you know, it just it wasn’t, nothing was sacred to me anymore. And because I’ve spent some time out of the public eye, I’ve been able to do so much healing. I’ve done more healing on myself in the past year and a half than I have in the past, that entire six years that I went around the world preaching about recovery. You know, I’ve done more healing now than I did then because I am able to heal because I’m not talking about those things with the media. You know, I’m not, I’m not telling people details that they can tear me down with later.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:49:05] And you’re not being held to an insane standard. You’re not being asked to be the representative. You’ve pulled yourself out of having to be the representative of absolutely every portion of your life. I’d say especially considering your most recent single, “I Love Me”, I’d say that you’re still definitely out there with the message of us discarding our hatred of our own bodies. But other than that, I think it’s fine to set yourself free. And what about boundaries when it comes to toxic people? Because I found that that was the number one thing that helps me was cutting people off and out of my life in order to protect myself. We so, especially women, we’re never expect, we’re, it’s never accepted, that we will be cold enough. That’s the word they use for us is “cold”. To cut people out of our lives will change gears or shift who we’re hanging out with. I.
DEMI LOVATO [00:49:54] I do cut a lot of toxic people out of my life over the past year. And you know, I kind of used to be, have this mentality that if I had negative, a negative experience with someone, I always needed to mend it or I always needed to make things right. And the fact of the matter is, you know, I’m not really friends with any of my exes today because I had to realize that that wasn’t healthy either. You know, trying to maintain close friendships with some of my exes, it just isn’t realistic. There’s actually a reason why people don’t do that. You know? And for so long, people would be like, how are you still friends with your exes and blah blah blah? I’d be like, “I don’t know. I just am”. And that was because I was afraid of, like, fully letting go of people. And now that I’ve been able to fully let go of people, you know, that is another thing that I had to learn when it comes to cutting toxic people out of your life. If they’re an ex, it’s for a reason. So.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:51:01] I find that if I’ve seen someone’s scrotum, I can’t be friends with them. As a rule. Just as, that’s my rule. I can’t.
DEMI LOVATO [00:51:10] I think I’ve seen a lot more than scrotums.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:51:11] Scrotum, like vagina, anything. If I’ve seen if I’ve seen your shit down there, I can’t know you as a friend anymore. Because I’ll always be thinking about it while I’m sitting opposite you. That’s it. Like I can’t, I can’t help it. I’m a weird, I’m a weird guy. I don’t want to think, I don’t know these thoughts, Demi. OK. I don’t want to live like this.
DEMI LOVATO [00:51:33] For me, I think it’s if I’ve been in a full relationship with someone, it’s just not like healthy for me to continue a friendship with.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:51:43] No. You and I have both been in hot water before. We’ve said the wrong thing or accidentally with the best of fucking intentions.
DEMI LOVATO [00:51:53] I know.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:51:54] And so we won’t get into it at all. But the, the pushback is so incredibly intense and it must be times a hundred for you with the size of your following. What do you feel about Cancel Culture? Having been someone who kind of like oscillates up and down in the industry? Like everyone loves you. Everything, everyone thinks you’re perfect and then everyone hates you and feels offended by you.
DEMI LOVATO [00:52:15] I’ve been canceled so many times and I can’t even count like the #DemiIsOverParty like that, that whole thing is just like it doesn’t even affect me anymore. So one, it’s just not real. I don’t think that anybody was ever officially canceled. Otherwise certain people wouldn’t have Grammys today. Certain people wouldn’t have Oscars, and certain people wouldn’t be, you know, where they are in their positions. But I think what people need to, what, where is the forgiveness culture? You know what I mean? Like I do, to a certain degree, there are some people that just if you have used up your second and third chances with a certain topic, you’re canceled and you should stay canceled. But if you mess up and you apologize and you come forward and you say, I’ve learned from this. Then let that be an example for other people so that they can change, too. You can’t change unless you address what’s wrong and provide a solution. If there’s no solution, there’s not going to be change. That’s why the Cancel Culture will not work unless people have some sort of mercy.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:53:24] Yeah.
DEMI LOVATO [00:53:25] And you have to be able to to do that. You know, I think that if, if it’s somebody that, you know, just refuses to learn, just has the entitlement of “I can never do any wrong and I can get away with this”, then yeah, then go ahead and cancel them.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:53:48] Or just become the president of the United States. It’s fine either way. I don’t expect you to get into that.
DEMI LOVATO [00:53:53] I’m ok.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:53:57] But I, I do think that that’s true. And I also worry that it devalues progress.
DEMI LOVATO [00:54:02] Yes, exactly. I know that’s why. I know that I’ve had people tell me I, you know, I’ve gone through this, but I haven’t talked about it. And I really, I really commend you for doing so. It’s just they’re afraid of the, they’re afraid of relapsing. They’re afraid of some of the stuff that I’ve been through.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:54:20] And they’re afraid. Yeah, they’re afraid of the lack of public mercy.
DEMI LOVATO [00:54:24] Yes, yes, yes. And because the public is so quick to judge. They don’t understand things like addiction. They don’t understand things like that. So when someone relapses, they think, they’re very judgmental, you know?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:54:38] Yeah.
DEMI LOVATO [00:54:39] Or when somebody gets sober, they think, “Oh, they have to be sober the rest of their life”. And it’s like, the truth is, it’s like, it’s not a one size fits all solution for everyone and it’s different for every single person. So you just have to find out what works for you and stick to that.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:54:52] Yeah, I agree. I agree. I’m hoping that we will find some sort of kindness after this moment. I think I also, of course, people in power have to be more responsible. I’m definitely one of those people who should have thought more before I’ve spoken a couple of times. But also I think that there’s a difference when you can tell when someone’s intentions are inherently malicious. And, and I also don’t want us to turn our backs on the people who can be most helpful just because they fucked up once 10 years ago or one year ago and they’ve come back and changed from it. I don’t want us to, we don’t have the luxury of cutting out allies who have influence and power and money who can help.
DEMI LOVATO [00:55:27] Right. I actually think that like, and there can, that can represent more change then, then following somebody that’s never messed up. You know? If you are able to witness somebody who has made a remark that is offensive to someone, they come out of that, say, “Hey, I didn’t realize that was offensive” or “You’re right. You know, I’m, I apologize. I’m sorry. It won’t happen again”. And they are, they become an ally to that community, whatever community that is. That is more of an example of change than anything then, you know? So it’s, it’s people really have to keep that in mind.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:56:06] I agree. Who do you look up to for hope and inspiration?
DEMI LOVATO [00:56:12] One person that I really look up to for hope and inspiration is my mom. My mom had an eating disorder for many, many, many years and she has lived in recovery for the past however many years. She’s done so well and she is literally the most cheerful person that I know. And like she was in, she’s gone through so much and she has a whole book to show people for. You know, like it talks about her childhood. It talks about her first marriage, talks about what she’s been through personally and the fact that she is just still one of the happiest, most cheerful people that I know is insane to me, because it just goes to show you that, like you, that what you go through doesn’t have to-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:57:06] Define you.
DEMI LOVATO [00:57:07] Become you.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:57:07] Yeah. Do you feel like you are in a happier place now?
DEMI LOVATO [00:57:11] Oh, my gosh. Yeah, definitely. So much happier. So much healthier, stronger.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:57:19] More in control.
DEMI LOVATO [00:57:21] More in control. And also just not as reckless, you know? Like I used to like I had a dream the other night that I went skydiving and I did go skydiving like two years ago. But I don’t think I’d do it today because I just value my life more.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:57:37] Oh, yeah. I would never, I’d shit myself midair. There’s no way I would.
DEMI LOVATO [00:57:45] For me, I didn’t value my life enough to not jump out of a plane, and now I do. And so that’s, if that’s showing up at my dreams, it’s a testament to how well I’m doing.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:57:53] Absolutely. That’s such a good point. I’ve never thought about that. I. Both my boyfriend and I have come out of terrible, terrible depression. Like just life stopping depression and anxiety when we were younger. And we both make such better decisions. The food that we eat. The speed at which he drives the car. All of the things that I, the jobs that I take, everything I do is in the name of preservation now, rather than just recklessly-.
DEMI LOVATO [00:58:19] Yeah, because if you value your life, when you value your friends, your family, when you value things bigger than your job and material things, then you start to see life for the bigger picture and it becomes important to you to be here.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:58:36] Yeah, exactly. That’s a really nice sign. I think it’s a great thing for people to be able to look out for in themselves and to also look out for whether or not they are making reckless decisions and why. I wish someone pointed that out to me, by the way.
DEMI LOVATO [00:58:50] Yeah. I’m not saying for everybody jumping out of knowing is reckless.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:58:53] It’s fucking crazy, but yeah. Ok.
DEMI LOVATO [00:58:56] For some people that’s what they need and that’s what they have fun with. It’s like for me, I kind of did it out of like a. It was like I kind of, it was almost a dare in a way, but like it was an ego thing for me. And now I put my ego aside before I do things and I check with my values and think, is this conducive with my values?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:59:19] Yeah. Also, some people do it because they feel so fucking numb, you know? That’s why I used to do dangerous dumb shit is because I felt numb. Even, even the bingeing I would do was just to feel something, even if that thing was just guilt. I’ve wanted to feel like pain, physical pain. I wanted to feel something because I was just trapped inside of myself. So I agree. And no, no shade. No shade for you plane jumpers out there. I’m just jealous. I’m just jealous because I don’t have the balls.
DEMI LOVATO [00:59:46] Yeah, I’m jealous because I’m not going to do it anymore hopefully, and-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:59:49] What the fuck was it like? What was jumping out of a plane?
DEMI LOVATO [00:59:53] Honestly, it was beautiful. I would do it, like I would want to do it again. But I just, you know?
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:00:00] It’s scary. You’ve taken enough risks in your life.
DEMI LOVATO [01:00:03] Yeah. Exactly. I’ve done enough risks. I am, it’s, I’m retiring the risk taking, like endangering.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:00:10] Well, that’s good to know because you’re back. You sang at the fuckin Super Bowl. Was that very intense?
DEMI LOVATO [01:00:17] That was, so leading up to it was more intense than the actual like performance. The actual performance, I had this weird sense of peace that came over me when I stepped on the field and I just like prayed. I was like, “Please take my nerves away”. And then they went away and I felt amazing. I just went out there and I practiced and rehearse so many times, too, that I was like, “OK, I have done this enough to where it’s just muscle memory now and I don’t have to think about it”. So. And that was, you know, the difference in being prepared and not prepared. I think in the past I haven’t been prepared. And, and it showed, you know, now I have a different team around me that helps me get prepared and make sure that I’m going to do the best that I can and how would I need to do that.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:01:06] So what is next for Demi Lovato?
DEMI LOVATO [01:01:10] What’s next is more self isolation.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:01:14] Cool.
DEMI LOVATO [01:01:15] More interviews. I’m going to be interviewing some people and also have a show on Quibi coming out.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:01:22] Oh yeah.
DEMI LOVATO [01:01:23] That I’ll be filming once all of this is over. I’ll also finished my album once all of this is over. But in the meantime, I’m just meditating and painting and playing with my dogs and practicing piano and guitar.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:01:36] Lovely. Demi, before you go, will you please tell me, what do you weigh?
DEMI LOVATO [01:01:44] I weigh being a role model, I weigh being a daughter, I weigh being a sister. I weigh being a dog, mom. I weigh being a hopefully future human mom someday. And I weigh being a new Potterhead because now that I have finished the “Harry Potter” series, all the movies, I am now a Potterhead.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:02:15] Great. I thought you said a different type of pot head for a second.
DEMI LOVATO [01:02:18] No.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:02:21] You’re joining the “Harry Potter” fans.
DEMI LOVATO [01:02:24] Yes.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:02:24] I’m so, I think they’ll be thrilled to have you.
DEMI LOVATO [01:02:26] You know, if I come out with a lightning bolt face tat after this quarantine, it, it’s not my fault. Ok?
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:02:33] I’ve never seen it. I’ve never read the books. So I’ve no idea what you’re talking about. But maybe I will. Maybe I will join.
DEMI LOVATO [01:02:39] OK. You and James need to start the series, because let me tell you, there’s nothing better than fantasy movies right now because it completely takes you out of reality and it’s so nice.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:02:46] Have you seen my boyfriend? Of course, he’s already read all the books and seen all of the films.
DEMI LOVATO [01:02:55] True, true.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:02:56] Thank you so much for coming onto this podcast. I really appreciate you being so open with me and with the audience. So many people look up to you and to hear the details of your journey is so special from someone who lives such a unique life and yet in so many ways has parallels with the rest of us. I love you. And you know that.
DEMI LOVATO [01:03:17] I love you too.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:03:17] And I’ll speak to you soon. But thank you so much.
DEMI LOVATO [01:03:20] Of course. I’ll talk to you later.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:03:22] Bye.
DEMI LOVATO [01:03:23] Bye.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:03:25] A quick thank you to the people who make this podcast possible. Kimmie Lucas, my producer, and Sophia Jennings, who is also one of the producers in the podcast. A big thank you to my boyfriend, James Blake, who I forced to make the theme tune for this. I love it very much and I liked to thank myself.
November 27, 2023
This week, Jameela is joined by writer, broadcaster and feminist organizer Clementine Ford to discuss the historical roots of marriage as a tool of patriarchal control, the illusions surrounding modern matrimony and the modern marketing machinery that sustains its myth.
November 20, 2023
Jameela is joined by beauty culture critic Jessica DeFino in a candid conversation about where her current research and journalism is taking her, after years of covering a multi-billion dollar beauty industry for major women’s magazines & beauty apps in the US.