- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Mocking someone who has overcome body issues and eating disorders isn’t a good look, Internet. (Xavier Collin/Image Press)
Would you like to see some less than perfect pictures of me? I have at least a hundred on my phone I could show you right now, all of which feature me with dirty hair, spit-stained pajamas, smudged glasses, and holding my child.
And let’s not even discuss the pictures of me where I actually am showered and dressed and still shudder.
Which is a long way of trying to say: Let’s all just drop it about Poot Lovato.
ICYMI, Poot Lovato is a meme that somehow spawned a million more memes, all originating from (now deleted) Tumblr user cstcrpt, who posted a photo of Demi Lovato – a photo, apparently, that said Tumblr user found to be less than flattering, and wrote, “Demi’s twin sister. She was locked in a basement her whole life. This picture was taken the first time she went outside. Her name is Poot.”
(Rotello/Photofab/Rex/REX USA / Tumblr)
The Internet then quickly exploded, singing the tale of Poot Lovato, the feral dweller of the underground unfit for society.
Apparently, the world decided, any photo of a woman deemed less than #flawless is subject to not just run-of-the-mill ridicule, but viral hate-stardom.
And the situation is only made more obviously horrifying, and objectifying, when done with Demi Lovato as its subject, a pop star who has continued to differentiate herself from her peers with her message of body acceptance and body positivity – and a star who has been so open about overcoming an eating disorder.
In 2011, Lovato spent three months in an in-patient facility for treatment of her anorexia and bulimia. After getting out of treatment, the singer and former Disney Channel star told People magazine, “At 12 years old, I was bullied in school. Girls were calling me fat, so I thought, “That’s the reason I don’t have any friends.” So I stopped eating. I became very weight-conscious, and I lost 30 lbs. I went down to 95 lbs.”
She also shared that, “I’d be lying if I said there weren’t days where I just want to stay in bed all day because I’m ashamed of my body. It’s a struggle I’ll probably have to deal with for the rest of my life.”
Since then, Lovato has made herself a vocal champion of acceptance of all bodies.
She told Fitness magazine that, “I realized I’d rather be strong and happy than be what society thinks is thin and perfect and be miserable” and that “We all have problem areas. I’m always going to have thick thighs. I can’t change that, and obsessing over it will only make me miserable. Learning to be grateful for our bodies and taking care of them are the best ways for us to empower ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually.”
She even kicked off 2015 by telling her Instagram followers: “I was beautiful then, and I’m beautiful now. 2014 I decided to focus on bettering myself by making changes in my life with health, balance, endurance and consistency. You don’t have to wait till the beginning of a new year to make resolutions for yourself. It’s all about loving and taking care of the only body you will ever have… Cherish it, love it, embrace it.. Because when you do.. It begins to show. Goodbye 2014.. Who’s excited for what we can accomplish in 2015?!! Let’s do this!!!!”
So, dear Internet, if you see a picture of a celebrity – of anyone! – and you think it’s not their best? Who cares. Don’t meme it. Don’t tweet it. Don’t launch fake Wikipedia pages devoted to fake narratives behind it. Women’s bodies – all bodies – aren’t there to be objectified and vilified in the name of a cheap laugh. Bodies aren’t a joke: They’re what keep us all alive and thriving. And, for people like Lovato, achieving incredible success.