Demi Lovato Slams Taylor Swift's Squad and Talks Disney "PTSD"

Singer also reveals why her relationship with Wilmer Valderrama didn't work out

By Zach Johnson Oct 04, 2016 1:35 PMTags

It's no secret Demi Lovato is unafraid to voice her opinions.

And, in Glamour's November 2016 issue, the singer does just that.

Let's begin with Taylor Swift. In May, Lovato tweeted, "Don't brand yourself a feminist if you don't do the work." It was a bold statement, considering Swift rebuilt her brand on the power female friendships. But Lovato doesn't regret what she said about Swift and her squad. "I think in certain situations, certain people could be doing more if they're going to claim that as part of their brand," the 24-year-old "Body Say" singer says. "To be honest, and this will probably get me in trouble, I don't see anybody in any sort of squad that has a normal body. It's kind of this false image of what people should look like. And what they should be like, and it's not real."

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The women in Swift's squad, by and large, tend to be slender—and that's "not realistic," Lovato explains. Regarding Swift's "Bad Blood" video, she says, "I think that having a song and a video about tearing Katy Perry down, that's not women's empowerment. We all do things that aren't, but I have to ask myself, 'Am I content with calling myself a feminist?' Yes, because I speak out."

Since seeking professional treatment in 2010, Lovato has also spoken candidly about her eating disorder and living with mental illness. By sharing her story, she hopes to destigmatize the diseases. "When you're an artist, you have a platform that can reach millions. I feel it's selfish when you don't use your voice, because then you're just relishing the attention—you're not using it for good," she tells the magazine. "I have felt uncomfortable having people say, 'You're my idol,' because I want them to idolize God. I want them to idolize somebody that's done a lot. So I think it's important that artists use their voices for so much more than just their talent."

Of course, talent is only a piece of the puzzle. As a child, "I was judgmental of artists who were exploring their sexuality, and I thought, 'Why are they doing that? They don't have to. They've got a good voice,'" she says, referencing Christina Aguilera's "Dirrty" era. "I thought, 'Her mom's gonna hear that. How is she not embarrassed?' Now I realize these artists were embracing a part of life I should be OK singing about as well. There's nothing wrong with a woman being proud of an element of her life that's talked about in rap music all the time!"

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"We don't have music that talks about sexuality from a female standpoint," she says. "We live in an imbalanced society when it comes to encouraging male sexuality and discouraging female sexuality," Lovato adds. "In 20 years I hope we'll look back like, 'Wow, that's how it used to be.'"

Lovato has taken control of her career and her image by starting a record label with Nick Jonas. He's like "family," she says. The two bonded while filming Disney Channel's Camp Rock movies and touring together. Though some of their peers have since denounced the network, Lovato is grateful. "We used to work so much and so hard for very little that when our schedules get too busy, I immediately think about the past. It gives me anxiety, and it's kinda like legit PTSD...You work so hard, and you don't really reap the rewards, or I didn't," she tells Glamour's Emily Mahaney. "But I was on such a platform that gave me the rest of my career—I couldn't complain. [So now] whenever our schedules start to get busy, I start getting triggered because the things I used to do to cope were unhealthy. When I have a long day, I think, 'If [I went back to those things], I'd be able to get through it.' But we now work with our manager, and we have amazing schedules."

Both Lovato and Jonas are single now, which makes for some fun times on the road. "We're definitely each other's wingman/woman," she says. "There was one night in New York where he introduced me to somebody. And Nick and I looked at each other and high-fived each other."

Lovato split with Wilmer Valderrama in June—and it wasn't an easy decision. But, "I think it's healthy to be able to start over with someone else," the singer says. "Being sick was always a part of my relationship with him; I always had something wrong with me. I needed to let go of that. It was hard to depart from somebody who saw everything, but it may be nice to start fresh with somebody. Because that person I was when I was a lot younger is not who I am today."

Glamour's November issue is on newsstands Oct. 11 and available now digitally.