My Giant Demi Lovato Post
Demi Lovato has been all over the celebrity rumor websites the past few days after she checked herself into rehab. And while normally I don’t like to go into celebrity gossip like this, I’ve read a few reports that upset me beyond belief and made me think.
The first was actually a piece reported on by Jezebel that originally appeared in NY Post. The piece claimed that Lovato is the latest victim of “The Disney Curse,” some supposed affliction that will eventually get to all the good, innocent girls who work for the Disney company and will slowly but surely “destroy” them.
It’s a ridiculous idea right from the beginning, but that didn’t stop me from being upset by this:
The latest in a long succession of Disney starlets gone wild, 18-year-old Demi Lovato joins previously fallen Tinker Bells including Vanessa Hudgens, whose nude photos scandalized her fans; train wreck Britney Spears, who has a pregnant-at-16 sister to match; Miley Cyrus, who started gyrating like a stripper before she was even legal; and Lindsay Lohan, whose crazy exploits need no introduction. –source
So…Demi Lovato recognizing she has some problems and needs help with them is on the same level as Britney’s massive break-down? And Vanessa Hudgens’ photos leaking and Miley Cyrus’ onstage dance moves are equivalent to Lindsay Lohan’s issues?
Then again, I suppose it really doesn’t matter to the world, does it? These girls were held up as paragons of good, sweet, innocent and now, as it turns out, they are human beings. And as we slowly find out, the worst thing for a woman to be is exactly that, a human being. How dare we have any sort of interest in sex outside of a monogamous heterosexual relationship that will eventually produce babies (but only after marraige, remember!)? How dare we openly admit to suffering from any sort of mental issue? Remember, you can’t admit to mental problems. You just need to get through them yourself. Because ignoring them and being expected to just be PERFECT could NEVER lead to any kind of addiction issues and/or mental breakdown.
And hey, if it does? More hits for websites and chances for people to publish articles that are “deeply concerned” with the health of these young women, complete with half-hearted well-wishes and an underlying but mostly unexpressed desire for these girls to just not show us any sort of imperfection.
And please note, the “Disney Curse” only affects female Disney stars. Because it’s not like male Disney stars ever do anything wrong, right?
OH, THAT LOOKS LIKE A SEGWAY, DOESN’T IT?
The second article that upset me upon reading it is rumor and speculation, but still needs talking about. Because apparently, Demi Lovato’s relationship with Joe Jonas was just a publicity stunt for Camp Rock 2.
It would have been REALLY nice if Joe had told her that from the get-go.
Instead, apparently, he waited until he broke up with her, when he and his father sat down with her and explained that it was never really a relationship.
Oh, and then she had to go out on tour with him after all of this.
Disney curse? Nah, just a boy being a boy. But Lovato’s reaction to the news?
“She immediately started blaming herself after they split, and wanted to change everything. She tried to move on. She started seeing other guys to distract her. But being stuck on tour with Joe and his new girlfriend did her in as we see now… All her feelings just exploded at once.” –source
Let’s focus mostly on that first sentence, shall we? She blamed herself for her boyfriend USING her. She blamed herself for her boyfriend being an asshole. She blamed herself for something she had no control over.
But that isn’t surprising, is it? It’s really unfortunate that we live in a world where women are taught that their self-worth shouldn’t be based on their own thoughts and feelings about themselves, but on the approval of everyone around them…and especially of men. Women aren’t allowed to be pleased with ourselves. And I do not count myself as an exception to this rule, I’m more guilty of it than most people will probably ever realize.
Think of just about every cover of Cosmo or a corresponding ladymag you’ve seen. How many of the blurbs on the cover were about how to do something TO yourself…with the implication that you’re doing it FOR your man, either the one you already have or the one you must be desperate to get your hands on? How to lose weight (so you can be sexy in an outfit for him). How to have self confidence (so you can attract a man). How to have better sex (for him, dummy, never act like you want/enjoy sex for sex’s sake).
Even the most basic interpretation of the term “self-pleasure” is considered naughty for women. The stigmas surrounding female masturbation as sick and deviant (unless, of course, it’s being done as something for a man to watch and get off on) are still around. In fact, until just recently several states had bans on selling vibrators, unless, of course, you were selling them as a gag gift.
Yeah, you know what’s really funny? That a WOMAN would want to HAVE ORGASMS without A MAN! HA! That’s like Dane Cook funny right there!
I guess what I’m getting at here is what I tend to get at with a lot of celebrity gossip about “troubled” women. The pearl-clutching, monocle dropping concern we show for these young women really isn’t necessary. What IS necessary is changing how society treats women specifically and mental illness in general. Those Disney girls? All of the actual problems they face (and we’re not counting Vanessa’s photos or Miley’s poll dancing in those because, for crying out loud, neither of those is anywhere near the same as mental health issues) are faced day after day by young women all over the world, women who doesn’t have access to rehab centers and, hell, might not even have access to basic mental health services.
To copy and paste from my comment at Jezebel:
“Disney Curse?” Sounds more like “Being a woman in a society that sends you mixed messages and has terrible stigmas about appearance, body image, sexuality and mental health.” I’m pretty sure Disney doesn’t own the rights to that.