Demi Lovato has been popping up alot in the media within the last month. First because she released her Youtube Docu-series called “Dancing with the Devil” which is a look back at some of the singers most trying times as she unravels her past traumas; she opens up about what led to her near-fatal overdose in 2018, along with her personal, musical career over the past three years. The most incredible thing that we can see when Demi shared her personal traumas, and her healing journey is how open she is about who she was, her journey to happiness now, and how self-aware she is. There is a lot that Demi Lovato can teach us about embracing our identity.
It is a fact that many individuals that have grown up in Arab and/or MENA households know the struggle of being accepted for who they are. Many parents are not willing to hear their kids’ identity struggles out, or even allow them to explore these struggles. There are too many topics that are considered taboo and often left out of conversation in the typical Arab household. A lot of it stems from internalized judgement to anything that is different from the mainstream Arab narrative. The journey of self-love, and being comfortable and happy with yourself is something that is not even vaguely discussed, but is ironically one of the most important things to master in one’s lifetime.
There are a few things that Demi Lovato can teach us about embracing our identity. First, she made peace with her past, embraced her true self, and cut out all negative patterns from her life.
Making Peace With Your Past
In her docu-series, Demi talks alot about how she had to face a lot of traumatic experiences from her Disney days. She goes into the various moments where she felt guilty, upset, and did not want to live anymore. She talks about how she got raped when she was 15 years old. She also talks about having an eating disorder because the media wanted her to have a certain shape to be seen as beautiful.
We all have times where we wish we could take certain moments back whether it’s when we said something inappropriate, or acted out at a time where we shouldn’t have. The first thing you can do on your journey to self love and acceptance is not put too much pressure on who you were before, and your past. That goes for the present, and future as well. We understand that It is easier said than done, but if Demi was able to realize that dwelling about the past never did her any good, it certainly won’t do us any good either.
Embrace Your Identity
The second thing that Demi mastered is being more self-aware of herself. She did this by listening to herself, and finally embracing her identity. In the past, she has spoken up about her sexuality and how she does not want to be labeled by anything. Recently, she has come out as non-binary and wants to be referred to as ‘they’. She talks about how she has struggled with her identity publicly being afraid of what people would say.
It seems Demi decided to go with the idea that the world will judge and hate on you regardless, so might as well let them choose to hate or love the real you. Arab women are more susceptible to this, because they are conditioned to act a certain way in hopes that they will be more likable. For an Arab woman to have an open discussion publicly about her sexuality is unfathomable. In more recent times, we are taking small steps to break down that stigma, and give individuals the freedom to embrace their true selves. Let yourselves be the leader for others.
Cut out all negative habits
This is one thing that Demi revolved her series around, she started off by talking about her drug overdose that led to her traumatic hospital experience, where she had to stay there for a few days. She calls this one of many near death experiences when meddling with various drugs. She talks about the importance of cutting out all negativity in your lives whether it be drugs, people, and even specific habits.
Sometimes when it comes to Arab households, our parents can often unknowingly cause this negativity, and we need to find a way to make peace with them. The best thing you can do is work on yourself, and stay true to yourself. You’ll love your battle way more when you know who you are fighting for. If you are able to, you can create distance with people that don’t serve you. This doesn’t mean you have to cut them off completely, but you can interact with them to a certain level. It’s understandable that this does not come easily in Arab households, but it takes one to stir up a lifeline of generational curses, and break free.
Demi Lovato is a mega popstar known globally, which means her every move is observed and up for criticism by the whole world. I’m sure we can relate to a part of her struggles even though we don’t have to deal with such difficult experiences so publicly. In life, we have all made mistakes and decisions that we wish we could take back, and we have all gotten judged for being our authentic selves. At the end of the day not everyone is going to like us, and we are not here on this earth to please everyone. Today we pondered upon a few life lessons that Demi Lovato can teach us about embracing our identity that many zillennials in the Arab diaspora can take with them to finally appreciate themselves fully.
by Mariam Asif – YLT Staff