The harshest entertainment critics might argue that up until a few months ago, Demi Lovato of Disney's 'Sonny With A Chance' had begun the tumultuous career spiral that has become synonymous with Hollywood starlets. She had adopted self-injurious behaviour and was suffering from an eating disorder. Fans were also saddened to learn that Demi Lovato was suddenly no longer a featured act in the Jonas Brothers tour. Thankfully, she was able to admit to herself and later to the public that something was wrong. She recognised that she had a mental breakdown" and checked into a rehabilitation centre in November 2010. Lovato has now become more vocal than before about her problems, in an effort to reach and show solidarity with other girls who may be suffering with similar disorders and body image challenges. Earlier this year, Seventeen Magazine proudly announced its co-partnership with the actress and singer, and the Jed Foundation, for the latter's 'Love is Louder' movement.
According to loveislouder.com, the 'Love is Louder' project is an outreach programme created and developed by actress Brittany Snow, The Jed Foundation and MTV. It uses online media to gather and give support to persons who feel mistreated, misunderstood or isolated. This is done through inspiring and thought-provoking videos which are uploaded to MTV's website or to the movement's Facebook photo gallery. Interested persons can also join in the discussions on Facebook and Twitter. Demi Lovato's own 'Love is Louder' video is featured on MTV's website. The video is titled 'Love is Louder than the pressure to be perfect,' specifically addressing the star's struggle with body image in what can sometimes be a gruelling industry. She is featured sitting against a white backdrop, "There's a tonne of pressure out there to meet impossible standards...to look right, be smart, be thin, talented and popular" she says. Her words echo the reality of many young girls, as she stresses that many of us feel like we have to be everything to everyone." Instead of undertaking such a gargantuan and impossible task, in the Public Service Announcement a frank Lovato suggests, "When the pressure to be perfect is overwhelming, find an outlet...You can sing, dance, act, draw, shoot photos, write or run."
The executive director of the Jed Foundation, Courtney Knowles told MTV News why Lovato would be an effective ambassador for the 'Love is Louder' movement. " I think her story really resonates with a lot of girls...the fact that she's willing to talk about these sensitive issues openly is really important because part of the problem is so many teenagers don't want to seem like they're failing at anything, so they don't talk about this." He continued "Without addressing the problem, (the desire to be perfect) you can never feel better." Though no further details of Lovato's involvement had been finalised, Knowles noted that Lovato was keen to spread the message and to reach more teenage girls and young women. Currently Lovato is a contributing editor to Seventeen magazine's website, Seventeen.com, where her posts are meant to address a host of issues teen girls face. She does not pretend that her problems are behind her, as is clear in her new Billboard hit "Skyscraper." Yet still, the resilient spirit uses the 'Love is Louder' project to show that despite one's problems, happiness need not be elusive. In the May issue of the Seventeen magazine Demi Lovato shares one of the simple lessons she learnt while in rehabilitation "I have come to realise that just making yourself happy is most important." Young ladies everywhere would do well to remember these words.
Senior Press Pass Correspondent
University of the West Indies