It seems odd that at 18-years-old, Demi Lovato’s new track could still be classified as a “comeback song.” But after last year’s public trip to rehab—for what was then simply described as the all-encompassing “emotional and physical issues”—her newest single “Skyscraper” marks her return to the demanding career that audiences are quick to assume sent her down a dark path in the first place. Only that’s not what Lovato wants her fans to believe these days.
Six months later, the former Disney star has appeared incredibly poised when describing her struggle (specifically with anorexia, bulimia, cutting, depression and bipolar disorder) with immense candor. “I don’t really consider myself young, because I’ve lived so much life and have been through a lot,” she told AOL Music. “My issues stem from other things that happened in my childhood. They are issues that every girl deals with, whether they’re in the spotlight or not. Cutting has become so common with so many girls and in almost every family people have tried it or experimented with it and there is addiction all over the place. It doesn’t necessarily come from being a quote unquote child star.” Not to launch into our own Popdust PSA, but when was the last time a star (that young) admitted to having real issues, and subsequently spoke out on behalf of those suffer from the same? Leif Garret admitted to driving under the influence at 17, sure (once he got arrested), and it was no secret that Mary-Kate Olsen was seeking treatment for anorexia shortly after high school graduation, but how many times were we fed the “exhaustion” excuse by Lindsay Lohan before people began to suspect something more serious?
What’s refreshing is that while it may have taken some time (and expounding on personal issues is in no way required of our pop stars, no matter what the media or crazed fans will have you think), Lovato is much more outspoken about her problems than other past female teen stars were at their prime—or even some of her peers today (even if it is heavily crafted by her PR team). Perhaps it’s just another sign of 2011′s public demand for information about our biggest stars, but we should respect her for discussing things that are deeply personal, as well as not being afraid of losing fans over things that are a lot more complex than any storyline featured on Sonny with a Chance.
So while it’s likely we can’t stop people from speculating who she’s dating now, or actually keep her from any older lothario (even if he looks like Sebastian Valmont from Cruel Intentions), we can at least hope that whomever she chooses to spend her time with (whether its platonic or romantic) will only aid in her recovery. After all, love knows no age. Just look at these two! Or, at least inspire awesomely bitter break-up tracks. Those never go out of style.