Demi Lovato on Bullying, “Mean Stinks” and Being an X-Factor Judge

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She started as a Disney star, but Demi Lovato has come a long way since then. Now the talented singer-songwriter is a judge on the “X-Factor” alongside Britney Spears and Simon Cowell.

The 20-year-old is also doing her part to speak out against bullying. She is the official ambassador for Secret’s “Mean Stinks” campaign, and she participated in the Young Women’s Leadership School in East Harlem for their “Drama Free School Year” anti-bullying assembly.

Demi has a personal connection to this great cause. Growing up, she was a victim of bullying herself. In previous interviews, Demi opened up about how kids in middle school wrote “hate petitions” against her and threw CD-bashing parties for her demos.

She told us that she was bullied to the point of having to leave her school.  “I had to leave school because I was so affected by bullying.  I think it had something to do with some of the issues I face today because it affected me so deeply, but I learned I can get through it.”

Two years ago, she sought treatment for an eating disorder and issues with cutting only two years ago. “I hit rock bottom and my family actually told me that I needed to get help.  I was really scared but it was the best decision of my life,” she told us.

Though she says she is through it, that doesn’t mean that the experience doesn’t still haunt her.  It’s a lifelong journey, “I work on my recovery every day.  I take steps to make sure I am healthy, like meditating and taking breaks when I need them.”

Now, the young artist wears blue polish on her little finger as a “pinky promise” never to bully someone else. It’s part of Secret’s campaign, which asks girls to pledge to have a “Drama Free School Year” by making a pinky swear (symbolized by wearing blue nail polish on their pinky fingers).

We asked our readers to submit questions for Demi, too, and this is what she said:

What advice would you give parents on how to handle an emotional teenager?

Parents should talk to their kids so they know what is going on with them.

What’s your favorite part about being a judge on X-Factor?

I love everything about it.  This experience has been better than I could have imagined!

What’s it like working with Britney Spears? What’s she like in real life? And are there any possible collaborations between you two in the future?

Britney is awesome.  She is really funny and down to earth which I think you can really see on the show.  I would love to collaborate with Britney – but there is nothing planned right now.

What do you do on a typical day off?

I go to dinner and movies with my friends or just relax.

What are five things you couldn’t live without?

My family, music, sleep, Homeland, and ID channel

If you had to pick a theme song for your life (not one of your own songs) what would it be?

Titanium by Sia

To help end the bullying epidemic, Secret will donate $1 (up to $150,000) from the purchase of every Mean Stinks Clinical Strength deodorant to the cause. Learn more about the program on Secret’s Facebook page.

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