Demi Lovato sparked heated discussion over the weekend after she called out a frozen yogurt company for what she views as "triggering" and harmful "diet culture" messaging. The discourse began when the singer visited Los Angeles-based frozen yogurt shop The Bigg Chill and later put the business on blast for carrying sugar-free options. While Lovato saw the foods in a negative light, dubbing them "diet foods," not everyone is of the same view, and now critics are pushing back.
In her original post, shared to her Instagram account Sunday, Lovato opened up about her experience, writing that she was "finding it extremely hard to order froyo from" The Bigg Chill due to all the "diet foods" they offer. Lovato, who has long been open about her struggles with an eating disorder, said, "you have to walk past tons of sugar free cookies/other diet foods before you get to the counter" and asked the business to “do better please,” adding the hashtag "diet culture vultures."
Demi Lovato calls out a Los Angeles frozen yogurt shop for its “harmful messaging” regarding their sugar free cookies and other diet foods. pic.twitter.com/6teLtOaITH— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) April 18, 2021
The post immediately sparked debate on social media, with Lovato's post being met with plenty of criticism from those pointing out that sugar-free options are a necessity. While one person acknowledged that Lovato "her own triggers," they said she "could've stated her feelings without tagging a small business that didn't have ill intentions." That person went on to add, "sugar free options are super necessary. and as someone who has struggled w an ED i cannot imagine making my own triggers others' responsibility." Somebody else offered some words of support for The Bigg Chill, sharing, "as someone who has always struggled with/had issues with food, I like that Bigg Chill has so many options for different dietary needs." Real Housewives of New York City star Leah McSweeney even weighed in, saying on her Instagram Story that Lovato "should be ashamed of herself for using her platform… to drag a frozen yogurt spot because she's mad that they sell diet frozen yogurt and sugar-free options because that triggers her." McSweeney called Lovato's actions the "ultimate privilege" and said the singer's remarks were "disgusting."
Also weighing in on the discussion was The Bigg Chill itself. Along with responding to Lovato on their Instagram account, where they noted they "carry items for Diabetics, Celiac disease, Vegan and of course have many indulgent items as well," they also sent her a DM. In that message, the shop said they "are not diet vultures" and again noted that they "cater to all of our customers needs for the past 36 years. We are sorry you found this offensive." Lovato responded to that by stating that he found her "whole experience" with the store "triggering and awful." She said the shop "can carry things for other people while also caring for another percentage of your customers who struggle DAILY just to even step foot in your store," telling The Bigg Chill, "don't make excuses, just do better." Lovato later shared several more screenshots of the DM conversation, including one in which she wrote, "You aren't wrong for catering to many different needs but it's about not excluding one demographic to cater to others."