By Xavieria Terry
Disney’s ex-act, Demi Lovato, released an absolutely heart-breaking and insightful documentary on October 17, 2017 titled, “Simply Complicated,” in which Lovato dives into her extremely personal past and provides insight on how she has (and continues to) work through the issues associated with it. It is an exceptionally extensive and comprehensive film about her past and she goes to all extents to display the depths of it.
Lovato has dealt with depression since “a very, very young age” and drug abuse as early as the age of 17. Through “Simply Complicated,” the starlet has found the strength to voice these struggles. WARNING: it would be advised to keep a box of tissue nearby during viewing.
Lovato begins the documentary with a tape of her recording her new studio album, Tell Me You Love Me, and a statement about how committed she is to making the album perfect due to her immense insecurities. This moment works as a solid jumping off point for her stories about the beginning of her struggles: her childhood. Lovato shares her abusive past with her alcoholic father and how the experience affected her. In particular, Lovato informs viewers that she developed a fascination/obsession with death beginning at a young age . She goes on to talk about her move away from her father due to his toxic influence and his eventual passing. Her mother remarried with her current stepfather who took on the fatherly role in her life. Later, in elementary school, Lovato deals with bullies who call her “fat” and encourage her to kill herself. Thus, the beginning of her bulimia and other eating disorders.
From grade school on, Lovato eventually gets casted on Disney’s original film Camp Rock, then her hit TV show, Sonny With a Chance. The pressure of the industry definitely was no good for her already deteriorating mental health, which obviously only worsened it. Lovato turned to hardcore drugs, such as cocaine, as young as 17 and went on a downward spiral from there. She explains that she was high most of the time and took nothing seriously. Her career team noticed this and tolerated her behavior for a few strenuous years, but were on the verge of giving up on her. Lovato, knowing they were her only support system, became desperate and finally allowed them to help her on the road to recovery. She was admitted to rehab and she began her arduous journey to where she is now, powering through many downfalls and struggles along the way.
Though Lovato indicates she has struggled to remain strong in her constant battling of her ongoing eating disorders, she has not relapsed with drug usage in a few years. Lovato admirably remained open and completely honest and vulnerable in this documentary. The amount of straightforwardness with such an emotional tale is almost overwhelming, as it conveys the message that “it’s okay to not be okay.” Though the message is valuable to fans of all ages, younger viewers in particular can greatly benefit from hearing a sentiment that is rarely conveyed in such a deliberate and frank manner. As long as you get back up and keep struggling to move forward, things will always get better in time. Furthermore, the fact that such a well-known and respected individual has such a mired past gets to the heart of the issue: these trials are quite common, and yet, it is easy to feel isolated and vulnerable when you are dealing with them. Sometimes, all people need is a little hope, and a reassurance that not only will things get better, but there are those who understand and appreciate the obstacles that they have to overcome each and every day.