Demi Lovato is attempting to clarify her controversial comments about a Los Angeles frozen yogurt shop over the weekend. Lovato lashed out on Instagram at small business The Bigg Chill for offering sugar-free options and, as she called them, "diet foods," because she felt they were "triggering" and part of the harmful "diet culture." On Monday, Lovato, 28, tried to explain her rationale behind the rant, but admitted she might have "jumped to conclusions." She said she might not have reacted in the way she did if she knew the sugar-free options were meant for those with specific medical needs, like diabetes or Celiac disease.
"I am very outspoken about the things I believe in. I understand that sometimes my messaging can lose its meaning when I get emotional... I've lived through enough to know when to speak up for people who don't have a voice," Lovato said in an eight-minute Instagram post. "When I messaged this froyo place, originally, I wanted to make a point, and I wanted to call out behaviors or branding, things that didn't sit right with me." Lovato went on to say that as someone who is recovering from an eating disorder, she still has a "hard time" visiting frozen yogurt shops.
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Lovato said she did not know that The Bigg Chill offered sugar-free yogurt options for diabetics, vegans, and those with Celiac disease, as the store pointed out in its response to Lovato's original posts. She "probably shouldn't have gone about this the way I have," the actress admitted. "I'm protective of the little girl inside of me that didn't get that representation at a young age of someone saying, 'All of this diet stuff at a young age is not OK. You're worth more than that.' I walked into a situation that didn't sit right for me. My intuition said, 'Speak up,' so I did." At the end of her video, Lovato said she planned to stay away from social media for the rest of the day.
The situation started over the weekend when Lovato posted messages on Instagram — where she has more than 102 million followers — calling out The Bigg Chill. She found the shop's sugar-free and other diet options "triggering" because of her struggle with eating disorders. She called on the business to "do better please" and suggested her social media followers use the hashtag "diet culture vultures." While some social media users understood why Lovato would feel this way, others accused her of using her celebrity power to trash a small business.
Lovato also shared screenshots of her DM conversations with The Bigg Chill staff. They told her that they "carry items for Diabetics, Celiac disease, Vegan and of course have many indulgent items as well" and said they are "not diet vultures." They "cater to all of our customers' needs for the past 36 years. We are sorry you found this offensive," read one message. Lovato told the company that she still thought her experience there was "triggering and awful." In one message, Lovato told the company they were not "wrong for catering" to people with different needs, but she felt they were "excluding" another demographic by having the sugar-free treats visible at the front of the store.