Demi Lovato on Taylor Swift’s Squad Bods, ‘Bad Blood': Not Women’s Empowerment
In the upcoming November issue of Glamour, the pop star holds forth on Swift's infamous squad of celebrity girlfriends, most of whom are supermodels, actresses and musicians, and how they represent a sort of impossible standard for women.
"I think in certain situations, certain people could be doing more if they’re going to claim that as part of their brand," Lovato shared, according to excerpts obtained by Entertainment Tonight.
To drive her point home, she adds, "To be honest, and this will probably get me in trouble, I don’t see anybody in any sort of squad that has a normal body. It’s kind of this false image of what people should look like. And what they should be like, and it’s not real…It’s not realistic."
The "Body Say" singer also says that specifically being around Victoria's Secret models—a handful of whom, including Karlie Kloss, Gigi Hadid and Cara Delevingne, comprise Swift's aforementioned squad—has been a trigger for her own insecurities as much as a "learning experience" in terms of understanding some people simply have different body types.
"I remember asking [Victoria's Secret Angels], 'How do you maintain your figure?' Some said, 'I really have to work at it.' Others said, 'It’s genetics.' It was interesting to hear that it wasn’t through unhealthy [behaviors]. It was a great learning experience. I still felt sexy, having a different body than these women. I had Wilmer [Valderrama] there, who loved my curves—that helped."
As well as speaking about Swift's squad and the representation of women's bodies in media, the performer called out the 1989 singer's 2014 feud anthem, "Bad Blood," a song purported to be about Swift's ongoing beef with Katy Perry.
"I think that having a song and a video about tearing Katy Perry down, that’s not women’s empowerment," Lovato said, adding, "We all do things that aren’t, but I have to ask myself, Am I content with calling myself a feminist? Yes, because I speak out."
While Lovato does raise some legitimate points regarding the faux-feminist posturing of "Bad Blood" — as well as the exclusionary nature of high-profile "squads" in general, and the messages they may send fans — the Confident singer certainly isn't perfect herself when it comes to judging her peers.
Her comments regarding Swift and her friends' bodies not being "normal" run counter to her message (perhaps she simply meant not "average?" Words matter.) And Lovato has certainly been openly judgmental of others in the past, including some of her own well-meaning fans.
The pop star drew (pun intended) the ire of fans in late September when she criticized a piece of fan art posted by Vladimir Serbanescu, a 17-year-old Romanian artist.
The portrait, an illustration of Lovato drawn as a lounging mermaid, didn't sit well with the singer, who chided Serbanescu publicly for manipulating her figure.
"Is that how my boobs should look?" she asked in a comment. "It's gorgeous but that's not my body."
Later, the disappointed young artist shared his drawing along with her comments on Instagram, writing, "If I make your waist slimmer and your boobs bigger to accentuate the fact that I drew you as a mermaid, a mythological creature, doesn't mean I say that you should look like that or all girls should look like that. That's how I imagine mermaids. I worked a lot on that drawing and I was proud of it, but not anymore."
However, it should be noted that while Lovato's public critique of her fan's artwork came off as ungrateful and perhaps harsh in the context of what was meant to simply be an artist's expression, the pop artist has struggled openly with eating disorders over the years. So an unrealistic (again, keep in mind: this artwork is of a mermaid Lovato) representation of her body may have been triggering for her.
See the offending illustration for yourself below.
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