Demi Lovato highlighted the negative ways comments about people's weight can affect them, even if the intent is to compliment someone on weight loss. They suggested it was better to not comment at all about someone's body because you never know their personal experiences. Lovato, who recently came out as non-binary and revealed a change in their pronouns, shared a statement on their Instagram Story Sunday.
"[I don't know] who needs to hear this, but complimenting someone on their weight loss can be as harmful as complimenting someone n their weight gain in regards to talking to someone in recovery from an eating disorder," the singer wrote. The 28-year-old wrote that it is best to not comment on someone's body if you do not know their history with food, "because even if your intention is pure, it might leave that person awake at 2 a.m. overthinking that statement."
In a second Instagram Story slide, Lovato wrote that a compliment might "feel great" at first, but for a person recovering from an eating disorder, it could lead to searching for the real context of the message. It might only feel like a compliment to "the loud ass eating disorder voice inside my head that says, 'See, people like a thinner you,' or 'If you eat less you'll lose even more weight.'" However, the compliment could also "suck" because the person begins thinking, "Well, damn. What'd they think of my body before?" Lovato wrote.
"Moral of the story: I am more than the shell of my soul," Lovato wrote. "That is my body and every day I fight to remind myself of that, so I'm asking you to please not remind me that that is all people see of me sometimes." In the end, they added heart and praying hands emojis.
Last week, Lovato announced they are non-binary and asked their fans to use "they/them" pronouns in an episode of their new podcast, 4D with Demi Lovato. They came to this "revelation" after "some healing and self-reflective work" in the past year-and-a-half. "With that said, I'll officially be changing my pronouns to they/them," they said. "I feel that this best represents the fluidity I feel in my gender expression and allows me to feel most authentic and true to the person I both know I am and am still discovering." They will also be "accepting" if people accidentally continue referring to them with "her/she" pronouns since the change could take some time for others to get used to. Lovato also noted that they "don't claim to be an expert or spokesperson."
Lovato previously spoke out on the topic of eating disorders last month, when they first complained about The Bigg Chill yogurt shop in Los Angeles offering sugar-free options. At first, they blasted the small business because they thought the sugar-free foods were "triggering" and part of the harmful "diet culture." Lovato later apologized for jumping to conclusions after the shop explained these sugar-free options were meant for those with medical conditions like diabetes and Celiac disease.
"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,'" Lovato explained in a since-deleted video. "I walked into a situation that didn't sit right for me. My intuition said, 'Speak up,' so I did."