Demi Lovato has been lauded again and again for using her influence online as a platform to raise awareness about eating disorders, suicide, and self-love — all issues she herself has been outspoken about struggling with.
Perhaps this openness and empowering messaging is why her fans hold her to a higher standard than many other celebrities like Bella Hadid, former Bachelorette contestants, and the Kardashians.
Lovato posted a radiant selfie on Monday (April 24) that highlighted her freckles and natural-looking makeup, fitting right in with many of her other Instagram posts. Except.
“This year is all about #selflove,” she captioned the photo, “Truly taking care of myself and exercising has changed everything for me. @teamiblends has #sponsored my 30 day detox challenge to help get rid of toxins and my bloating for summer.”
Sure enough, in the photo she is holding a branded mug of the detox tea, prominently displayed on the left-hand side of the picture.
This year is all about #selflove 💗 truly taking care of myself and exercising has changed everything for me. @teamiblends has #sponsored my 30 day detox challenge ☕💪🏼 to help get rid of toxins and my bloating for summer. I’m on Day 7 right now & it’s so easy! I just drink their tea every single day in my favorite purple tumbler. I love taking it to shoots and the studio with me. If you are ready to be your best YOU this summer, use my Code: DEMI for 20% off your detox program when you check out! I want all of you to do the challenge with me! #thankyouteami #teamitumbler #healthylifestyle
Fans of the pop star aren’t impressed with the endorsement, arguing that the image goes against everything Lovato has promised to be an advocate for.
“Girl if you think drinking detox tea and ‘getting rid off the bloat’ is selflove, you still have a looong way to go,” one user commented on the image.
“If you have a eating disorder you should work on recovery not drink detox tea,” another argued.
One seemed genuinely confused. “You’re DEMI,” she wrote, “You remember? You’re DEMI. Stop the dictatorship of beauty.”
Their outrage is understandable. While promoting products like detox teas on Instagram comes with a hefty paycheck for celebrities, Teen Vogue points out that detox teas are not only an unhealthy way to lose weight — they also come with “unpleasant side effect,” and can lead to liver damage or weakening of the colon.
Furthermore, this is Demi Lovato, the advocate and powerhouse (both on the stage and off) who has been such a role model by talking candidly about her bulimia and her mental health issues. She can do better than this.
She owes it to her fans.