Demi Lovato's Bulimia "Could Have Been Avoided"
The young star hopes being honest about her own body issues will inspire others to get help.
Singer and Disney Channel actress Demi Lovato says that her eating disorder might have been avoided, if she'd had role models to look up to who had gone through the same thing. The 20-year-old star hopes to pave the way for more open discussion of mental health issues. Lovato has spoken candidly about her struggles with bulimia and self-harm, her recovery, and her time in rehab. “I was about 12 or 13 when I developed my eating disorder, and at that time nobody in the public eye talked about their body issues," she says. "I feel that if someone had admitted they had a problem, then I wouldn’t have gone down that route myself." Moving forward, Lovato is determined to be a role model for other young people facing similar issues. "That’s my goal in talking about my problems. I want to be the person for other girls that I needed to admire when I was looking for help and strength,” she says. The star encourages anyone who is struggling to reach out and seek help. “It’s OK to love your body the way it is," she says, "and it’s OK to reach out for help if you have drug and alcohol problems, or if you’re self-harming or being bullied."