After her sudden exit from her tour with the Jonas Brothers and a three-month stay at a treatment center,
"There's a ton of pressure out there to meet impossible standards," Lovato says sitting before a white backdrop. "To look right, be smart, be thin, talented and popular. And many of us feel like we have to be everything to everyone, but it doesn't have to be that way. When the pressure to be perfect is overwhelming, find an outlet. I love to paint, but there are also other ways to relieve that pressure. You can sing, dance, act, draw, shoot photos, write or run."
Lovato, who admitted in the upcoming issue of Seventeen that she does in fact struggle with an eating disorder, explains in the video that there are many people who deal with the same issues and advises fans to spread the Love Is Louder message. "If you're going through a dark period, remember that you're not alone," she continues. "You can get help and you can feel better, so join me in spreading this message by snapping a photo of yourself with the message love is louder than the pressure to be perfect." Courtney Knowles, executive director of the Jed Foundation, spoke to MTV News about why he believed the teen star was the perfect candidate to represent the Love Is Louder movement. (MTV teamed up with the Jed Foundation and actress Brittany Snow last fall to launch Love Is Louder in response to teen suicides connected to bullying.)
"I think her story really resonates with a lot of girls. I think it already did," Knowles said. "There had been a lot of speculation about what she had been through and ... the fact that she's so brave, that she's willing to talk about these sensitive issues openly is really important, because part of the problem is so many teenagers don't want to seem like they're failing at anything, so they don't talk about this. And without addressing the problem, you can never feel better." As for whether Lovato will participate in any future Love Is Louder campaigning, Knowles revealed that he and her team are still working out the details. "We don't have a specific schedule yet, but she certainly is onboard to spread the message and for it to reach more teenage girls and young women," he said. Lovato is also serving as a contributing editor for Seventeen, where she's expected to write bi-monthly posts on Seventeen.com and contribute to the magazine's coverage of issues facing teen girls. Knowles told MTV News that Lovato and Seventeen approached the organization about teaming up to create "something bigger than just the story." In the May issue of the mag, which hits newsstands April 19, the Disney starlet opened up about her battle with an eating disorder and what she's learned since her days leaving treatment.
Asked whether she ever felt pressure to pick up old habits, the star admitted "there have been times" when she was tempted to get rid of her dinner. "But I will deal with it for the rest of my life because it's a life-long disease," said the teen star. "I don't think there's going to be a day when I don't think about food or my body, but I'm living with it, and I wish I could tell young girls to find their safe place and stay with it."
Since leaving treatment for "emotional and physical issues" in late January, Lovato confessed that she has given herself "a lot of freedom."
"I have come to realize that just making yourself happy is most important," she continued. "Never be ashamed of what you feel. You have the right to feel any emotion that you want, and to do what makes you happy. That's my life motto."