Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato’s love is louder

by Georgia Van Cuylenburg

If you had started your career when you were barely old enough to do up your own shoelaces, how do you think your life would look by the time you were 21?

Demi Lovato danced with a purple dinosaur called Barney as a toddler, she was the star of two Disney shows, she has had numerous top 30 singles and was a judge on one of the biggest reality TV shows in the world, X Factor, all before she was legally allowed to drink alcohol.

It is no secret however that this rocket ship to stardom came with some pretty major personal challenges for Demi. She left her second Disney show mid-season in 2010 and was admitted into a rehab facility for substance abuse, eating disorders and self harm. There is doubt that was a very dark time for Demi, but from it she has created a beautiful, bright shining legacy. She has spoken out across the media about her struggles, being bullied, body image and addiction. Demi is leaving no stone in her personal journey unturned. If she believes it will help someone out there feel better, she will share it with the world.

In 2013, Demi joined the hugely popular Seventeen magazine as a contributing editor. Her intention was to share her struggles and help other teens with theirs. Not only is she putting her name and face behind these efforts, but in late June 2013, she announced the creation of the Lovato Treatment Scholarship program, dedicated to her late father, to help people suffering from mental illness by paying for treatment.

She has also joined together with MTV and The JED Foundation in their Love is Louder campaign to raise the volume around a critical message — that love and support are more powerful than the external and internal voices that bring us down, cause us pain and make us feel hopeless.

The list of child stars who have ended up in rehab are too long for my heart to fathom, but the way this child star has turned her visit around is truly magical and inspiring. And… if that wasn’t enough, here is an ‘Extra Skills’ section of a celebrity resume I wish we would see more often:

• In May 2009, Lovato was awarded Honorary Ambassador of Education by the American Partnership For Eosinophilic Disorders.

• She is also the spokesperson for the Join the Surge campaign, a national campaign that empowers teenagers to take action in their communities.

• She was featured in a January 2010 public service announcement for Voto Latino to promote the organization’s “Be Counted” campaign for the 2010 United States Census.

• In October 2010, she served as the spokeswoman for the anti-bullying organization PACER.

• Demi was also part of the “A Day Made Better” School Advocacy Campaign and has supported DonateMyDress.org, Kids Wish Network, Love Our Children USA, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and City of Hope.

•  In October, she was named the new Ambassador of Mean Stinks, an anti-bullying campaign focused on eliminating bullying among girls.

• In May 2013 she was awarded for her dedication as a mentor to teens and young adults with mental health challenges at a National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.

•  In August 2013, she traveled to Kenya for her 21st birthday to participate in a program created by international charity organization Free The Children.

• In May 2014, Demi was declared the L.A. Pride Parade Grand Marshal and the lead performer for NYC pride week for her contribution to the LGBT community.

Now that is a Disney star I’d be happy having my kids look up to. Demi Lovato, you are a true *Hollywood Journal Soul Angel.

How can I be super cool and make a difference like this month’s Soul Angel you ask? Get onboard with the Love is Louder movement by taking your own picture with “Love Is Louder than the Pressure to Be Perfect” on your hand, send it to seventeenmag@posterous.com and tweet them with the hashtag #loveislouder

*Hollywood Journal Soul Angel is a celebrity, or prominent person in entertainment, who is making a positive impact in the world, who cares about making a difference, and who is using his/her place of prominence to do beautiful and important things in our community and the community-at-large.

Images: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com; Featureflash / Shutterstock.com; Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com; DFree / Shutterstock.com

Georgia Van Cuylenburg

About Georgia Van Cuylenburg

Georgia is a comedian, writer and actress who started her production company to create work that makes people laugh and makes a difference. Through her entertainment and philanthropic work she is committed to sharing her personal trials to help others, and to having children around the world believe in their magic. Follow Georgia on Twitter @georgiavanc and YouTube

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