On Friday, mental health advocate and singer Demi Lovato dropped a new video and single called “I Love Me.” This song is her first musical release since performing the heart-wrenching ballad, “Anyone” at the Grammys in January. Check out the video below.
As a huge fan Demi Lovato fan and someone who lives with bipolar disorder (like Demi does), I was excited when I heard she was going to release a new single. I strongly identified with “Anyone,” as well as her prior single, “Sober,” which detailed her struggles with addiction and mental illness. But I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical when I heard the title would be “I Love Me.” I wondered: How am I supposed to relate to this song if I don’t love me? I didn’t identify with the title, and I definitely didn’t feel much of a connection to the single’s cover, which features Demi walking confidently down the street with her head held high.
But one vulnerable moment toward the end of the video caught my attention. Though brief, it was one of the most powerful parts of the music video.
After fighting with three different versions of herself at the beginning of the video, Demi walks down the streets of New York City while passing different references to her insecurities and scenes from her past (Can you spot the “Camp Rock” reference?). Here’s the part where things get emotional.
Near the end of the video, Demi gently rests her hand on a woman on a stretcher. This touching moment is likely a reference to her near-fatal overdose in 2018.
This part of the video meant so much to me because it embodies the compassion I strive to have toward myself. I want to be able to be as gentle with myself, both past and present, as Demi was to the woman on the stretcher.
This moment made me think, maybe I shouldn’t beat myself up for my life not turning out exactly how I planned it. Maybe I should just strive to gently lay a hand on the most difficult parts of my past and, in spite of it all, continue walking forward with my head held high. One day, “I Love Me” will be enough.
Throughout the song, “I Love Me” incredibly captures how difficult it is to practice self-love. When comparing the way she treats herself to how she acts toward others, Demi sings: “‘Cause I’m a black belt when I’m beating up on myself, but I’m an expert at giving love to somebody else.”
I completely relate to this sentiment. It feels so much easier to encourage others than it does to be kind to myself. The other day, I lost a shirt and immediately called myself “stupid” for not being able to keep track of something so simple. I know I would have reacted differently if the same thing happened to someone else. If my friend lost her shirt, I wouldn’t call her “stupid.” I would have offered to help her look for it.
I want to be the kind of person who talks to myself the way I would talk to a friend, with compassion instead of resentment. I know it will take time to get there, but moments like the one when Demi compassionately acknowledges her overdose makes me think I can absolutely get there.
“I Love Me” sends the message that if you struggle with self-love, you aren’t alone. Our mental illnesses and previous mistakes don’t have to define who we are. We have the power to take the struggles we’ve faced in our pasts and use them to move forward and create something powerful, just like Demi did with “I Love Me.”