Demi Lovato Wants You To Stop Complimenting People For Losing Weight
As a body positive advocate, Demi Lovato continues to create conversations around diet culture, mental health, and disordered eating, and now the popstar is reminding people why it’s not okay to comment on other people’s bodies, even when it comes in the form of praise.
On Sunday, Lovato took to Instagram Stories to remind fans that weight loss comments are not always welcome, and in some cases, may cause more harm than good. “Idk who needs to hear this but complimenting someone on their weight loss can be as harmful as complimenting someone on their weight gain in regards to talking to someone in recovery from an eating disorder,” the story read.
“If you don’t know someone’s history with food, please don’t comment on their body. Because even if your intention is pure, it might leave that person awake at 2 am overthinking that statement…”
Lovato, who recently came out as nonbinary and now uses they/them pronouns, speaks from experience. The singer-songwriter, who is in recovery from bulimia, has previously spoken about their experiences with extreme dieting, food shaming, drug use, exercise addiction, and body image issues during their years-long recovery process.
Now, they are reminding fans that eating disorder recovery is an ongoing journey and that even well-meaning compliments can serve as triggers for those who are still struggling. “Does it feel great? Yeah, sometimes,” Lovato continued in a second slide. “But only to the loud ass eating disorder voice inside my head that says ‘See, people like a thinner you’ or ‘if you eat less you’ll lose even more weight.’
“But it can also sometimes suck because then I start thinking ‘Well, damn. What’d they think of my body before?'” they added.
Lovato finished the story by asking their followers to be considerate of others’ struggles when talking about weight loss. “Moral of the story: I am more than the shell for my soul that is my body and every day I fight to remind myself of that, so I’m asking you to please not remind me that [my body] is all people see of me sometimes,” they wrote.
As with most psychological disorders, everybody’s experience looks different and some people’s struggles can go unseen. At the end of the day, by complimenting someone’s weight loss, you could be commenting on the side effect of depression, illness, or as Lovato explains here, an eating disorder, and therefore, encouraging disordered behaviors.
You might also like: Lizzo Says The Body Positive Movement Has Been Co-Opted By Small Bodies