Demi Lovato got real about her history with body image issues and addiction in a new interview on Tuesday (July 7).
“I used to have people watching me the night before a photo shoot to make sure that I didn’t binge or eat and be swollen the next day,” the pop star told Bustle for its July cover story. “It’s just a totally different world now…I don’t prepare for photo shoots, even. I can eat Subway for breakfast.”
Lovato credits part of that healthy change with finding a new manager in Scooter Braun, joining the likes of Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande on the music executive’s roster back in 2019 after splitting from longtime manager Phil McIntyre.
“In the past, I projected my own abandonment issues onto other people, especially male figures that I looked up to as father figures,” she said. “I had to reflect on, ‘What do I want my relationship with my manager to look like without enmeshing my own father issues onto him?'”
After detailing her time in treatment following her 2018 drug overdose and subsequent hospitalization, the pop star also revealed she had planned on releasing her long-awaited seventh album and touring in 2020 before the global coronavirus pandemic ground the industry to a sudden halt. Preceded by a stunning performance at the 2020 Grammys and even a lead single — self-love anthem “I Love Me” — those plans for a musical comeback have now been postponed until it’s safer to come together for live music again.
However, the former Disney Channel star maintained that the time to reflect and slow down has ultimately been good for her, as she self-quarantines with new boyfriend Max Ehrich at the couple’s temporary pad in Los Angeles. “It’s very common for people to only really work on themselves when crisis happens or when they notice that they’re slipping into old patterns or behaviors,” she said during the interview. “So to be able to walk into this experience without a personal crisis and just be like, I can do the work on myself now because I have the time…It was a beautiful thing.”
She continued: “I wasn’t in rehab; I was outside in the world with Netflix. So when I was too tired of therapy, I’d put on Schitt’s Creek…I was given this opportunity. And I was like, I’m going to adapt. I’m going to shift to this. I’m going to learn from it.”
Now, Lovato has figured out what she truly wants. “I want a career that has nothing to do with my body,” she told Bustle. “I want it to be about my music and my lyrics and my message. And I want a long-lasting career that I don’t have to change myself for. Music brought me so much joy when I was younger, and I lost that joy throughout the hustle and bustle of the music industry. I got miserable. And I don’t ever want it to be like that again. That’s what I want.”