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Demi Lovato stares down her past in her new video for “I Love Me,” released on Friday.
In the new video, the 27-year-old singer appears to be facing her demons — her eating disorder, addictions and herself. And it includes a stop-you-in-your-tracks moment in which she reflects on her near-fatal overdose, resting a loving hand on someone on a stretcher who’s being put into an ambulance.
Lovato looks great and sounds great in the video, out nearly two years after she relapsed. It starts with real talk about body image — being “guilty ’bout everything that I eat” and beauty magazines and online commenters making her feel bad about herself. She admits she’s a “black belt” when she’s “beating up” on herself, leading to two Demis violently duking it out — breaking a glass table in the process — as third, more Zen Demi, looks on.
She sings, “Oh, why do I compare myself to everyone / And I always got my finger on the self destruct / I wonder when I love me is enough ... Why am I always looking for a ride or die / Cause mine’s the only heart I’m gonna have for life / After all the times I went and f**ked it up / I wonder when I love me is enough.”
Once she breaks out of her bedroom, Lovato’s on an NYC street (the fictional “I Love Me St.”), where there is a lot of symbolism of her past, including the near-fatal overdose she suffered in July 2018. (Lovato said on Ellen Thursday that she ended six years of sobriety in May 2018 amid a recurrence with her eating disorder and trouble within her former team because she felt they were trying to control her.)
The most poignant moment by far is when she walks by first responders who are treating a woman on a stretcher before loading her into an ambulance. Lovato, in a bright red trench, walks over and puts a loving hand on the woman as if to tell her she’ll be OK — like she is.
She also sees a bride and groom run across the street and she casts her eyes on them. The resemblance to her newly engaged ex Wilmer Valderrama doesn’t go unnoticed. She dated the That ‘70s Show star for six years before they split in 2016 — and they remained friends with him supporting her during her OD recovery.
Also on the busy street are three guys which presumably are the Jonas Brothers — Nick, Joe and Kevin. They rose to fame together and had some high highs and low lows. (See the airplane incident ahead of her 2010 trip to rehab. Also, Lovato dated Joe and while they had a nasty split, they are all good now.)
The JoBros actually appear twice — with an earlier version of them all from their Camp Rock days. Lovato smiled at that memory — and her younger self.
There’s also another pop star walking down the street with bodyguards around her as Lovato again sings about how she always compares herself to others. It’s unclear who it is, perhaps her on-again, off-again friend Selena Gomez or even Miley Cyrus. (Though honestly it could be herself too — that was her vibe for a while.)
There’s also a scene with a blond woman and her two daughters — seemingly a reference to Lovato with her mother, Dianna De La Garza, and sister, Dallas Lovato. The singer spoke on Ellen about her mother having to take them and leave her alcoholic birth father, who has since died. She said that abandonment by her dad is the root of her emotional problems, which led to her eating disorder, which started at age 9, along with substance abuse.
Lovato noted on Instagram that many of her friends appeared in the shoot.
While the song reflects on heavy things, it’s still fun and positive, with great messages, like, “I’m my own worst critic / Talk a whole lot of sh** But I’m a 10 out of 10 / Even when I forget.”
In another Instagram post about the video release, Lovato talks about where she’s been, mentally, over the past year. She also says that 2020 will be her year.
It’s the second single since her overdose with the chilling “Anyone” — which she said was a cry for help leading up to the OD — that she performed at the Grammys.
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