Saturday, July 25, 2009

Leave Demi Lovato Alone!

Star magazine recently printed photographs of Demi Lovato and a story about how she's allegedly been self-mutilating. The article "Is Demi Cutting Again?" suggests that the Disney actress/singer has been cutting her wrists because she is stressed about her show Sonny with a Chance:
"She's not getting enough downtime because there is so much work involved, and she's always being pulled in different directions." Unfortunately, that constant pressure may lead to destructive behavior.
"Cutting is how she can let go of the stress that has built up inside — when she cuts herself, it's a way to cope," explains Dr. Jennifer Austin Leigh, a San Francisco–based psychologist who specializes in treating teenagers. But there is hope, adds Dr. Leigh, who has not treated the actress. Besides counseling, Demi "needs to surround herself with family and friends who will have a positive impact on her." [Star]
Just to be clear, Dr. Leigh is not Demi's doctor. Her description of self-mutilation and its causes is probably correct, but she is in no position to make claims about Demi in particular. Oh and the source of this story is described simply as "a source" so we know that they're totally credible.

I think stories like this one - which has been repeated every fucking where - are wrong for two reasons:

One -
We don't know if it's actually true. I doubt the authenticity of the story and the photos. Why? Because tabloids are always known for being totally completely truthful and unbiased and reliable and accurate!! I won't go so far as to suggest that the photos are doctored - although I wouldn't put it past Star - but I do think the images are not clear enough to make such a leap as to Demi Lovato's mental status.

If the photos are correct, it still doesn't prove that she is self-mutilating. There are so many ways she could've gotten those marks. (Does Demi Lovato have a cat?) Also, knowing that she is so much in the public eye - her show Sonny with a Chance is the #1 in its timeslot right now and she's about to go on tour with David Archuleta - wouldn't she perhaps cut herself in a less visible area? And wouldn't her handlers - knowing that the tabloids have already speculated about this issue in the past - make sure her wrists were covered? Lillian Matulic, Demi's rep, described the allegations as "completely false".

Two -
If this is true... is it really our business? If the rumors are true and this is Demi's response to too much stress, isn't it kind of fucked up that we're reading about it as if it's news? If she's really stressed enough to self-mutilate, then isn't tabloid gossip going to make it worse? She's 16 years old - she's a child - this is not our business. This is not news that we should be reading in a tabloid. This should not be fodder for blogs and polls.

The media is always all over young celebs - like Miley Cyrus - for basically being teenagers with the bad fortune to be massively famous. However, that talk is usually about "naughty" things that the celebs have allegedly done. This on the other hand, is very different. This isn't an inappropriate picture or an offhand comment. This is gossip about a potentially serious problem. It's just plain wrong. Demi Lovato is the perfect example of what Disney wants their products, stars... to be. She's a squeaky clean "good girl" - no scandals, no rumors of drugs or sex. If she truly is going through a really hard time and struggling with self abuse - then why are we tearing her down even further?

Leave her alone! Yes she's a celebrity, but she's also a child. Write all you want about her career or her love life, but if she truly is dealing with a potentially dangerous condition then let's not make it worse. So shut the fuck up already!

For more information and support about self-injury: or SIsupport

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