Growing up, much like many other millennials, I spent my afternoons and weekends watching the Disney Channel. I’m sure we can all agree that more often than not, we wanted to be like the Disney stars of our time. For a kid in the early-mid 2000s, that meant our idols were on shows such as: Lizzie McGuire, That’s So Raven, Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place. Similarly, Disney Channel Original movies became the epicenter for teen heartthrobs and their female counterparts. Demi Lovato became established with the release of Camp Rock, although many of us knew her from the Disney Channel shorts like, “As The Bell Rings.” I always loved her rocker chick vibes, her free spirit and wanted to be just like her. Little did I and many other supporters know, she was on a downward spiral that would take years to recuperate from. The pop star’s newest YouTube documentary Simply Complicated highlights the singer’s struggles, triumphs and internal battles that still plague her today.
The Beginning of the End
Demi’s acting career really began on Barney and Friends as a child. Following that, she did many other projects, but her role as Mitchie Torres in Camp Rock opened Disney Channel’s door to fame for the teen actress. This may as well have been the beginning of the end because a couple of years later, the Disney starlet was admitted into a rehabilitation center, citing physical and emotional problems as the source of her stay.
Demi, like many of the Disney stars, grew up too fast, as a result of trying to adapt to a Hollywood lifestyle. She was only 18 when she went into treatment for the first time. After her stay in a treatment center, she tried to reinvent herself, and came out with new music, “Stay Strong” anthem Skyscraper, which now serves as the trademark of her brand.
Much like many of her supporters, when the documentary Stay Strong was released, I felt like I gained insight into the soul that is Demetria Devonne Lovato. I admired her for her courage and strength before, but after watching her documentary, I was truly awestruck by how real and honest she was about her experiences. Never once did it cross my mind that years later in a new YouTube documentary called Simply Complicated she’d admit she was still using cocaine while advocating for sobriety and mental self-care.
From Stay Strong to Simply Complicated
Demi’s new documentary shed light and offers a candid snapshot of who she was and who she has become because of her experiences. Demi touched upon the difficult path of sobriety she’s faced, her relationship with her family and the influences they had on her life which I can relate to at times through her music. She also discusses the difficulty in trying to find yourself while battling inner demons casting their shadow over you. What caught my attention most, was her discussion of her breakup with That 70’s Show star, Wilmer Valderrama. She explained she was still very much in love with him and probably always would be, but also goes on to explain that she felt she needed time alone to face her struggles, head on.
I must admit that although I had outgrown her music and wasn’t fond of her up to that date recently released music, her vulnerability allowed me to gain even more respect for her as an artist and as someone in recovery. Her voice felt sincere and honest, she laid out the truth in her words and you could tell they were genuine. I felt myself once again connected to the idol I longed to be as a teen.
What’s the verdict?
I applaud Demi for this new documentary because she could have continued letting her supporters believe that her recovery was as easy as the media made it seem, but instead used her platform to be honest with her fans and continue to advocate for mental health along the way. Even if you aren’t a fan of the Disney alum, her documentary teaches you some valuable life lessons and is worth checking out. Several triggering topics are discussed which is why leveling your comfort zones is important but just like the 25 year old’s wrist tattoos advise not only herself but her audience “Stay Strong” and keep moving forward.
Check out the full documentary on YouTube.
((Courtesy of Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWTlL_w8cRA)
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