Demi Lovato talks body image issues, bullying and rehab on 'Katie'
New "X Factor" judge and pop star Demi Lovato stops by "Katie" on Monday, Sept. 24, where she opens up to host Katie Couric about her struggles with body image issues.
Demi on realizing she had body image issues beginning at age three:
KC: When did you start to feel uncomfortable with your body and start to have body image issues?
DL: When I started to having body image issues I remember being three years old in a diaper and rubbing my hand over my stomach...and I remember thinking in my head "I wonder if one day this will ever be flat?"
Demi on the long-lasting effects of the bullying she endured while attending school:
KC: I know girls would call you fat when you were just twelve years old. Here you are this very successful, young actress and you were being teased and berated at school which was difficult for you, I know and quite traumatic.
DL: Yes, I also would like to raise awareness of bullying because people don't realize how badly that verbal harassment and cyber bullying affects you. It played more of a toll on me than if I was physically abused in school. I've always said I wished that they had just hit me in the face and gotten it over with because what they said to me sticks to me to this day and it affected me [turned] me into the person I am today. I was bullied and they called me fat and they called me horrible things. The only way to get through it all was I left school. I called my mom crying and said 'you have to pick me up I have to get out of here I can't take it anymore.'
Demi on the time she spent in an in-patient rehab facility after losing control and hitting a back-up dancer:
KC: I know there was an incident that kind of made everyone around you say "Enough is enough." You were kind of spiraling out of control, weren't you?
KC: Tell me what happened.
DL: What happened was I made a huge mistake and I ended up hitting one of my friends who was a back up dancer. I felt horrible, I wasn't really in control of my emotions at the time and I was just out of control and there's no excuse for it but it definitely showed everyone I needed to get help and I think two days later I was checking into rehab.
KC: You went to an in-patient facility in Illinois and it was very strict I know that you weren't allowed to go to the bathroom by yourself. You couldn't have razors there at all...
DL: There were some pretty fuzzy legs walking around there [ laughs]...
KC: Tell me about what the treatment was like and what it did for you?
DL: Treatment was so difficult at first, I remember walking around saying "I'm in prison!" They needed to have those strict rules in order for me to understand how sick I was. I wasn't allowed to use the bathroom by myself. We had specific phone times. There are tons of things you weren't allowed to have, you weren't allowed to have certain hair products or whatever that you could injure yourself with or possibly drink and you were just stripped of a lot of things. I also had somebody watching over me every single time I ate. And if I didn't finish what was on my plate, and often times I would cry because I physically couldn't stomach it and if that happened I would have to have little consequences, nothing horrible just not being able to go to the cafeteria to eat.