She sings songs about confidence, has her own clothing line, and is very open about her story with mental health and addiction. She was a Disney Channel star at a young age, and first started her acting career on the show "Barney" for young children. Many look up to her. Many have dealt with similar challenges.
I appreciate a lot of what Demi Lovato has done. She's shared her story and hope for others battling similar problems such as bipolar disorder, self-harm, and eating disorders. You can find encouraging messages of hers all over the Internet.
She's hinted before on Twitter and in her songs about sexual abuse from her father at a young age as well. This is why I was surprised that this prank was so funny and okay to her. Surely she would know better and have a sense of empathy surrounding this topic.
After seeing people's replies to her tweet, and since Lovato had deleted the primary and most problematic tweet, I searched for more information on what had happened, what this prank was. I found this article in addition, which discussed other problematic actions of hers, such as encouraging detox tea despite her advocacy against eating disorders and for body positivity and health. Needless to say, I'm very disappointed.
Some argue that Lovato isn't the one that did the assaulting, which is true. Despite this, what she had happen was problematic, as was her reaction to it, especially since she acknowledged how much this upset Max and during the #MeToo era and all the great steps we have made as a society through it.
I understand as well as I can how being a celebrity would be hard; every move and mistake of yours is scrutinized and criticized. However, we still need to hold them accountable by calling them in (not out) and having conversations about the problem with and without reference to statements and actions such as hers.
The conversation can start with differentiating between intent and impact: in other words, while someone may have not intended to hurt another person, that person is still allowed to hurt and have a say and deserve an apology. This conversation can detail more descriptive and explicit conversations about consent and empathy surrounding people's relationships with their bodies and other people.
Having these conversations isn't necessarily "fun." Being "woke," as they say, takes extra caution and thinking. It's not as carefree, at least not at first. I understand if it's frustrating or a lot or you feel like other people are always judging you for what you say and how you say it.
But how important it is to be inclusive and thoughtful. How we all need it more than we know, and how much better of a society we have with it. This is why we call in instead of call out. This is how we all have more to learn. This is how doing the right thing and saying things the right way becomes second nature. None of us are perfect; none of us skipped the learning period.
Since I know that we all have periods of learning and misspeaking, I try to hold people accountable sometimes without being too hard on them. My beliefs have nuances. I definitely am in no space to judge others, and I understand when someone knows and intends better but misspeaks.
Taylor Swift is a great example of someone I have mixed feelings about over the way she's spoken and handled things. I would love to have a conversation with both her and Lovato.
During Taylor Swift's sexual assault case, when David Mueller sued her for supposedly causing him to be fired, she countersued for only $1 to make a point that her suing wasn't about the money -- it was to make a point that sexual assault is not okay. Later, she donated money to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) in support of other survivors.
However, I feel she could've done more. Money is helpful for sure, but breaking stigma about who perpetrators and survivors are is crucial. It's not hard to believe that a beautiful, young, white woman like Taylor Swift would be assaulted. Minorities, such as people of color, people in the LGBTQ+ community, et cetera are assaulted at higher rates but much less likely to be believed and may encounter other barriers. Men also experience sexual assault and stigma that invalidates and makes light of their experiences. If your feminism isn't intersectional, I don't fully want it.