Demi Lovato is warning their fans about the harmful effects that “compliments” about weight loss can have on one’s mental health.
Around 2 a.m. PST on May 23, the pop star posted a lengthy Instagram story explaining how even the most “pure” intentions can be destructive. “Idk who needs to hear this but complimenting someone on their weight loss can be as harmful as complimenting someone on their weight gain in regards to talking to someone in recovery from an eating disorder,” Lovato wrote in their first slide. “If you don’t know someone’s history with food, please don’t comment on their body. Because even if your intention is pure, it might leave that person awake at 2 am overthinking that statement…”
Lovato, who recently came out as nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, has spoken out about their personal struggle with an eating disorder on numerous occasions. Now, they’re asking fans to remember that they are “more than the shell for my soul.”
While a compliment might initially “feel great,” Lovato explains how it can be reductive and cause a spiral of negative thoughts. “Does it feel great? Yeah, sometimes,” they wrote in the second slide. “But only 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.'”
Lovato continued, “But it can also sometimes suck because then I start thinking ‘Well, damn. What’d they think of my body before?’ Moral of the story: I am more than the shell for my soul 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.”
If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, please contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237, go to NationalEatingDisorders.org, or text ‘NEDA’ to 741741.