Editor's Note: The following article includes details about assault and eating disorders that may be triggering. Please proceed thoughtfully.
Demi Lovato's YouTube series, Dancing with the Devil, is surely one of the most powerful and affecting documentaries about a pop star ever made.
It also explores the eating disorder that Lovato, 28, received treatment for when she first entered rehab in 2010. Now, in an equally candid new interview with The Sunday Times, the singer has revealed that her body image issues began when she was just two years old.
“I remember being in pull-ups, still potty training, and running my hand over my stomach," she recalled. "That was the beginning of the rest of my life with body image issues. It never went away in my whole childhood. I always felt like I was larger than other kids.”
Lovato's mother, Dianna De La Garza, battled bulimia and anorexia while the single was growing up, something she wrote about in her 2018 memoir Falling with Wings: A Mother's Story.
"Me being a toddler and seeing my mom at 80 pounds,” Lovato added in her Sunday Times interview, “I think that really cemented the body image issues I had. That was the first role model for food that I had."
However, Lovato made it clear she doesn't apportion any blame to her mother, adding: "I’m not pointing fingers. She did the best that she could."
Lovato also said that her eating disorder was exacerbated when she was raped at age 15 by a powerful man in the music industry, something which was "completely swept under the rug".
"I realised when I got to treatment [in 2010] that the reason why my eating disorder progressed so quickly and so badly was that I kept the secret of being raped," she added.
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