The singer recently opened up about how she's practicing body acceptance.

By Arielle Tschinkel
November 04, 2019

These days, it's nearly impossible to scroll through social media without seeing hashtags, memes, and selfies related to body positivity.

While the body-positivity movement rightfully encourages people with marginalized bodies (curvy, queer, trans, bodies of color, etc.) to not only practice self-love but to feel worthy of self-love, the sentiment sometimes leaves people feeling like they must feel good about their body 24/7—a struggle Demi Lovato recently admitted to experiencing, too. At the 2019 Teen Vogue Summit over the weekend, the singer got candid about how her self-image has changed over the years.

"We hear the term 'body positivity' all the time," said Lovato. "To be honest, I don't always feel positive about my body." (Related: Demi Lovato Clapped Back at a Reporter for a Body-Shaming Headline)

Lovato feels OK admitting that, sometimes, she simply doesn't like what she sees in the mirror, she continued. "I don't sit there and dwell on it," she explained. "I also don't lie to myself."

In the past when Lovato struggled with body image, she said she would tell herself: "I love my body, you're beautifully and wonderfully made." But deep down, she said she didn't always believe those words. "I don't have to lie to myself and tell myself I have an amazing body," Lovato shared. (Related: I'm Not Body Positive or Negative—I'm Just Me)

Instead of solely focusing on what she loves about her body, Lovato said she now tries to shift the focus toward gratitude and acceptance. "All I have to say is, 'I'm healthy,'" she explained. "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.'" (Related: Can You Love Your Body and Still Want to Change It?)

This shift in perspective has also helped Lovato develop a healthier relationship with exercise, she said at the Teen Vogue Summit. In the past, she said she "wasn't ever open" with herself about the "unhealthy extremes" in her workout routine. "I think that's what led me down a darker path—I was still engaging in these [extreme] behaviors," shared Lovato.

These days, the singer said she's gentler with herself when it comes to exercise; she even took the month of October off from the gym so she could focus on "embracing [her] body as it is naturally," Lovato said at the Teen Vogue Summit. (Related: Everything You Need to Know About Exercise Addiction)

Lovato's candidness about body acceptance comes shortly after the singer began sharing unedited bikini photos of herself on Instagram—something she used to consider her "biggest fear."

"I'm just literally sooooo tired of being ashamed of my body," she captioned a recent bikini photo. "I want this new chapter in my life to be about being authentic to who I am rather than trying to meet someone else's standards." (Related: Bebe Rexha Reminds Us What Real Women Look Like with an Unedited Bikini Pic)

In working toward that authenticity, Lovato revealed what she actually sees when she looks at herself now: "What I see in the mirror [is] someone that's overcome a lot," she said at the Teen Vogue Summit. "I've been through a lot and I genuinely see a fighter. I don't see a championship winner, but I see a fighter and someone who is going to continue to fight no matter what is thrown their way."

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