Culture Feature

Demi Lovato's Sexual Trauma, and the Christian Purity Movement

In a new docuseries, Demi Lovato recalls how a teenage "purity" pledge added a dimension of shame to her experience of sexual assault.

Content warning: Discussions of sexual assault, disordered eating, self harm, and addiction.

Back in 2008, a group of young Disney stars represented what was intended to be a new model of fame.

While the cliche of child stars was that they are quickly corrupted — drawn into the dark side of the entertainment industry, with exposure sex and drugs from a young age — these young singers and actors were supposed to be different.

They were going to hold onto their innocence as long as they could. They had made pledges.

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Culture Feature

We’ve Already Reached Peak White Feminism in 2021

Lukewarm activism by white women, what's new?

Photo via Angela Peoples in NYT

Lana Del Rey is at it again.

This summer she was met with severe backlash to an Instagram rant in which she claimed she, a white woman, had been unfairly criticized in the music industry for how she claimed her femininity. In one of the most cognitively dissonant statements of the year, Lana claimed that "there has to be a place in feminism for women who look and act like me."

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If there is any one human experience that is truly universal, it's a broken heart.

There is no pain quite as sharp or as lasting as your very first heartbreak, which is not to say subsequent heartbreaks are easy. But what remains consistent through it all is the power of music to offer comfort and catharsis. Whether your heart is broken for the first or the fiftieth time, these songs will help you throughout every stage of your journey to healing. Some are angry and defiant, some are sad and self-pitying, and some are about letting go and moving on. Whatever kind of break up song you need right now, we guarantee it's on this list.

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Culture Feature

Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato Get Real About Their UFO Sightings

Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato share Disney roots, a troubled period of growing pains, a strong redemption arc, and...recent UFO experiences.

2020 has offered such a dramatic flurry of news stories that one topic in particular seems to keep getting lost in the fray: aliens.

There was the confirmation of the Pentagon's UFO sightings and its special top-secret UFO task force. The potential alien life on Venus. And of course, the abundance of civilian alien sightings.

Now, some high-profile people are coming forward with stories about their own alien encounters. Miley Cyrus recently came forward with a wild story involving drugs, UFOs, and eye contact with an actual extraterrestrial.

Miley Cyrus's Extraterrestrial Encounter

"I was driving through San Bernardino with my friend, and I got chased down by some sort of UFO," the 27-year-old told Cyrus told fashion designer Rick Owens in a recent Interview Magazine profile. The two were on the subject of Area 51 after Owens began discussing his recent birthday, which included a visit to the alleged alien prison. This prompted Cyrus to launch into a story about a recent "experience."

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Culture News

Cohabitation in the Time of Coronavirus: Demi Lovato Stumbled into Her Boyfriend’s Instagram Live

He's also been posting a lot of romantic Instagram poetry lately, so things are looking serious.

Instagram / beautifulhomes.com

The era of quarantine and social distancing has forced couples to take some relationships steps they wouldn't otherwise make.

Couples in new relationships, in particular, have been forced to either move in together or face the prospect of spending months apart in isolation.

It seems that the stars really are just like us. Demi Lovato appears to be cohabiting with her new boyfriend, which fans discovered when she briefly appeared in the back of his livestream.

The man in question is Max Ehrich, an actor who played Fenmore Baldwin in The Young and the Restless, Hunter May in Under the Dome, and Freddie Ridge in The Path.

In the video, Ehlich is seated at the piano when Lovato walks in wearing a blanket. "I'm on live!" Ehrlich whispers, and Lovato covers her face and runs out of the frame.

According to an E! News source, "Lovato and Ehrich "have been quarantining together at Demi's house and it's going really well. Max is very into music and health, and he doesn't like to party. He is a good influence on Demi and they have a lot in common. They have a few mutual friends in common, but Demi has been introducing Max to her closest friends via FaceTime since being quarantined."

Apparently, the relationship is a rather new one, as just a few weeks ago Lovato told Ellen she was happily single. "I was on dating apps for a while, but as I've spent some time with myself over the past couple months, I realized that I am the type of person that will find any way to regulate when I'm sad or lonely or whatever," she said. "I have to fight those battles on my own."

Since then, perhaps because of current events, her mindset seems to have changed. Though she hasn't yet officially announced her relationship with Ehrich, last week he did post a shirtless photo with the caption "when u realize u should've packed more for your quarantine stay"—and Lovato commented "Fine by me." He's also been posting photos with her adorable dogs, who are the true heroes of any quarantine, and recently he did a cover of a Coldplay song "dedicated to D."

He's also posted some extremely romantic Instagram poetry.


Lovato isn't the only celebrity cohabiting with a new BF. Ariana Grande has apparently been snuggling up with a brand new real estate agent beau, while Lady Gaga and her man Michael Polansky are cozied up as well, despite only dating for a few months. We'll see how long the coziness lasts a couple weeks into isolation, but for now, new love is as strong as ever in Hollywood.


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CULTURE

Why Demi Lovato Is Embracing Body Acceptance, Not Body Positivity

She's joining Jameela Jamil and Taylor Swift in the movement.

One year after being hospitalized for a drug overdose, Demi Lovato is speaking out about her year of growth and change.

In her first interview in over a year, the star—who has been open about her struggles with body image and eating disorders—stated that though she still struggles to love her body, she's working towards appreciating her health.

"We hear the term body positivity all the time. To be honest, I don't always feel positive about my body," she said. "Sometimes I do not like what I see. I don't sit there and dwell on it. I also don't lie to myself, used to look in the mirror if I was having a bad body image day and say 'I love my body, you're beautifully and wonderfully made.'" But it's not always that simple, she said.

"I don't have to lie to myself and tell myself I have an amazing body. All I have to say is 'I'm healthy.' In that statement, I express gratitude. I am grateful for my strength and things I can do with my body. I am saying I'm healthy and I accept the way my body is today without changing anything," she added.

Lovato's new ideas about body image reflect the concept of body neutrality, which contrast the message of the popular body positivity movement. Body positivity (of the sort that consists of repeating positive affirmations to yourself) can actually lead to higher levels of anxiety and guilt when you don't feel positive about your body. It can also result in the opposite of its purpose: more fixation on the body, leading to more self-scrutiny and more time and energy wasted.

In contrast, the body neutrality movement is based on appreciating what your body can do rather than what it looks like. Body neutrality or body acceptance is about embracing the fact that your body allows you to move, travel, touch, and dance. It's not about how the body looks, but rather how it feels.

In addition, some say that since body positivity is a storied movement dedicated to carving out spaces and ensuring rights for people who face discrimination or stigma due to their weight, body neutrality is more appropriate for people who are not overtly discriminated against due to their appearances. This is part of why Jameela Jamil is an outspoken advocate for the body neutrality movement as opposed to body positivity. "The [body positivity] movement is not for me," she said. "That movement was designed for women who are discriminated against, like in front of doctors and in our society, because of their size. That is a must-have movement for those people. I am slender, so I'm not discriminated against, because of my size."

Instead, the Good Place star focuses on putting her energy into things other than her body. "Getting on with my day and trying to utilize the minutes I used to spend thinking about food and calories, and cellulite, is how I skate around that to preserve my mental health," she said.

Ultimately, both body positivity and body neutrality are different ways of countering an obsession with weight, either because of your own stigma or society's stigma against it. Obsessing over your body—either by hating it or feeling guilty when you don't love it—is generally a tremendous waste of time, a misuse of energy that could be poured into literally anything else. It's also exactly what brands and other systems that profit off your self-hatred want you to do.

In the interview in which she opened up about her newfound body neutrality, Lovato also emphasized the fact that her journey is ongoing. "What a lot of people don't realize is that I'm actually an extremely sensitive person," Lovato said. "I am human, so be easy on me. And I'm so tired of pretending like I'm not human. That's one thing that I won't do anymore. When you say stuff, it affects me. I'm human."

That sounds like the end goal of the body positivity and body neutrality movements, which are ultimately about remembering that you're not only defined by how your body looks, but who you really are.