demi-lovato-lady-gaga-glamorizing-eating-disorders-SXSW.jpgSinger Demi Lovato, whose struggle with self-harm and body image issues is well-documented, has some criticism for Lady Gaga’s recent SXSW performance.

During the performance of “Swine,” Gaga had “vomit painter” Millie Brown on stage, throwing up on the pop star. Lovato takes issue with what she terms “glamorizing” eating disorders.

The former “X Factor” judge wrote a few shorter messages on Twitter:

  • “Sad… As if we didn’t have enough people glamorizing eat disorders already. Bottom line, it’s not ‘cool’ or ‘artsy’ at all.”
  • “Would you let someone bring a needle and shoot up on you? Addiction is addiction.
  • “It’s not ‘shade’ and it’s not ‘hate’. But someone has to come forward and say it and I’ll take the heat for it.”
  • “So it’s cool if I do a speech about self-harm and then proceed to watch someone cut themselves on my stage? No. That doesn’t make it OKAY RT @kingsleyyy: @ddlovato Gaga herself struggled with an eating disorder. She gave a moving speech BEFORE her performance & I highly doubt her intention”
  • “Putting the word ART in it isn’t a free card to do whatever you want without consequences.”
  • “Activists don’t shut up. If no one raises their voice, how are we supposed to be heard?”
  • “Ps. I’m still a little monster myself.”

But Lovato also posted one larger message, summarizing her feelings on the whole thing:

“All I’m saying is, artists in pop culture have influence on people.. Some of which are people who aren’t capable of understanding the art that is that is expressed by their idols. Young people who are struggling to figure out their identities are seriously influenced by the things they see their idols do. Whether we intend to or not, artists influence people of ALL ages and unfortunately what people see, people do. Hair, clothes and sometimes misinterpreting things, therefore using the excuse of art to engage in self-destructive behaviors. I’ve been through a s*** ton.. More than any of you know, and I sympathize for everyone’s struggle. But people emulate what they see celebrities do or let happen. And that’s why I had to say something.. to let the people who don’t understand the art in it, that bulimia isn’t cool, and it won’t get you on stage with your favorite artist. I can’t NOT say anything because I stand up for what I believe in and speak out about mental illnesses. You’re right, nobody asked my opinion but pop culture is a huge part in leading our generation, we have to continue to strive to change the world. No hate, no shade, just love.”

Gaga has yet to respond to Lovato’s criticism of the performance but Brown tells TMZ, “There’s a clear difference between using my body to create something
beautiful, to express myself and feel powerful, rather than using it to
punish myself and conform to society’s standards.”

What do you think, readers? Is the use of the “vomit painter” glamorizing eating disorders?

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."