The singer opened a dialogue with the journalist in question to remind them that she is so much more than her weight.
More and more celebrities are speaking up about the insidious and damaging impact of diet culture, and for that we are grateful.
We’re talking about Jameela Jamil, yes, but also Demi Lovato, who used her Instagram stories to call out a website for fat shaming her and other women in the entertainment industry. “I am more than my weight,” Lovato declared in the post, which featured a screenshot of the story in question and its headline referring to Lovato’s fuller figure”.
Lovato, who has been open about her struggle with eating disorders and the road to recovery she has called “the biggest challenge” in her life, slammed the website for insinuating that a woman’s weight is the most newsworthy thing about her.
“Unlike in the past, I’m not triggered, I’m not upset that someone wrote a headline about my ‘fuller figure’. I’m angry that people thing it’s OK to write headlines about people’s body shapes. Especially a woman who has been so open about being in recovery from an eating disorder,” she wrote on Instagram. “I’m not upset for myself but for anyone easily influenced by the diet culture.”
Lovato added: “Too many people today base their ideal body weight off of what OTHERS tell us we should look like or weigh. Articles like these only contribute to that toxic way of thinking.”
The singer advised everyone who feels triggered by this kind of body-shaming content to reiterate affirmations to themselves. “You are more than a number on a scale,” Lovato wrote. “And I am more than a headline about my body shape.”
Jamil, herself a frequent commentator on media diet culture, has stood in solidarity with Lovato. “Do not fuck with Demi Lovato, she is a queen, and if you think her body weight is of any relevance to what she has achieved or what she has meant to hear fans, then you aren’t worthy of even licking the shit off her shoes,” Jamil posted.
After Lovato’s Instagram stories went viral, they were seen by the writer of the original article who reached out to the singer to apologise for the headline.
“I completely take full responsibility for this,” they wrote.
“I thank you for your apology,” Lovato responded. “Maybe you can write an article about this experience. Taking it down won’t take away what’s already up there. Unfortunately I had to use this as an example to make a statement about these types of headlines and how damaging it is not [only] for me but the readers.”
It’s a similar message to the one preached by Jamil in July 2018 when she called out a tabloid magazine for their “movement of trying to destroy women.” Jamil urged everyone to stop buying these publications and clicking on their articles to make a strong point that this kind of media coverage is no longer acceptable.
“Which fucking fuck wrote this article,” Jamil tweeted. “SHOW YOURSELF. Put your shit covered hand up in the air and show us your weasel face.”
She continued: “We need to respect women more than this. This is crazy. This is why I started the ‘I Weigh’ Instagram account. Because of THIS trash.”
Both Jamil and Lovato are right. We need to call out media body-shaming when we see it, and we need to put our money (and our clicks) where our mouth is and refuse to read and purchase publications that talk about celebrities in this way.
As Lovato concluded on her Instagram stories: “Change is made by raising your voice, speaking your truth and spreading love and compassion, not hate.”
“Now my fuller ass is going to sleep,” she added. “Goodnight guys… I love you so much. Don’t forget to tell yourself how beautiful and worthy you are of a happy and healthy life.”