Serenader of skyscrapers and former star of Sonny with a Chance Demi Lovato graces the cover of this month's Cosmopolitan and — what do you know — it looks as though a photoshop shark has taken a big ol' chomp out of her side (fitting as her dress does resemble a sexy '90s wet suit). Of course, Cosmo is no stranger to photoshop snafus, in fact, it wouldn't be all that surprising if the ladymag started photoshopping one generic face and body over every single person they feature ("Notice how everybody looks like Angelina Jolie these days?")
Again, no starlet who graces their cover is safe from the heavy hand of airbrush, so why is Demi Lovato's missing waist such a big deal? It's a big deal because Demi Lovato has been very open about her struggles with anorexia and bulimia. So open, in fact, that her disordered eating is what her Cosmo interview is almost entirely about:
"So much has happened, and I'm really glad it's over," she says, running her hand through her long hair. "It's been tough, but I'm excited to be in a more healthy, positive place."
Of course, she's referring to her stay at a treatment center at the end of 2010, where she sought help for an eating disorder as well as cutting and where she was diagnosed as being bipolar.
The article touts Lovato as a role model and hero for her frankness regarding her struggles — and Cosmo's not wrong to do so. She has been refreshingly open about her demons, which, most assuredly, has made her fans more comfortable in dealing with their own. However, the feature's punch is entirely lost when the magazine decides that Lovato's real body (which is perfectly gorgeous, by the way) is not good enough to grace their cover.
And then there's this gem:
In the realm of Hollywood, where so much seems manufactured and fake, Demi has managed to keep both her personal and professional lives so real.
Now, Cosmo has never been a publication known for its self-awareness ("For a sexy summer treat, stuff you vagina with a pint of Ben & Jerry's"), but here the magazine appears to have reached peak delusion. If anything has damaged the average woman's self-esteem and self-perception, it's the lady mag, the very industry of which is based in getting people to want the impossible, whether it be a celebrity's seemingly perfect body or a cookie cutter rule for giving the best blow job ever. For Cosmo to then cry foul on the lack of realism in Hollywood is disingenuous to the point of insult.
Hopefully (and probably), Lovato will take her artificially whittled-down appearance in stride and not let it affect her recovery, but what if she doesn't? And what message does the disconnect between the magazine's cover and the interview within send to readers? At worst, it's some version of Demi's so much better now that she's healthy, but her body needs some work. And will Cosmopolitan still deflect responsibility by hopping on the pseudo-concern, girl-power bandwagon while decrying the unfair role of women in the entertainment industry? With certainty.
And as for Demi herself — who, as the article also points out, is looking to create a more mature public image — is welcome to send Cosmo a real grown-up "fuck you."
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