Demi Lovato drags Taylor Swift for using feminism as a "brand" play
Demi Lovato might need to reconsider her on-again, off-again use of social media after the singer shared her thoughts on Taylor Swift and her conception of feminism in a new interview with Glamour. In response to a question on a past comment Lovato made about Swift — "Don't brand yourself a feminist if you don't do the work" — the "Cool for the Summer" star reiterated her critique. Swift has adopted feminism as a "brand," Lovato said, but doesn't live its principles.
"I think in certain situations, certain people could be doing more if they're going to claim that as part of their brand," Lovato told the magazine. "This will probably get in trouble, but 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."
The "squad" in question is, ostensibly, Swift's, and includes stars like Cara Delevingne and Selena Gomez, who appeared in her "Bad Blood" music video. In 2015, that squad, which Swift paraded across the award show circuit, became a talking point for a larger debate over whether Swift was trying to tokenize female friendship to augment her celebrity empire.
In Glamour, Lovato focuses on the effects Swift's squad has of supporting unrealistic beauty standards for women; many of Swift's famous friends are tall and thin. Body image is a cause Lovato has spoken about in the past, as recently as last week, when she critiqued a fan's drawing of her as a mermaid for not accurately representing her body.
In the Glamour interview, Lovato also takes aim at Swift's "Bad Blood" video, reiterating past criticisms of the way it seeks to tear down another woman. Swift has declined to name the woman in question, but many speculate the song is targeting singer Katy Perry.
"I think having a song and video about tearing Katy Perry down, that's not women's empowerment," Lovato said. "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."
While it may be hypocritical for a female artist to harshly criticize another female artist for her work — even if that work is shading others in turn — Lovato wasn't shying away from her words when addressing the interview on Twitter.
It seems the bad blood will continue to boil between Swift and Lovato, who both apparently live for drama in their own ways.
October 4, 2016, 3:43 p.m.: This story has been updated.