In this weekend’s issue of Vanity Fair, Demi Lovato pulled a trick from childhood friend Selena Gomez’s book by stripping and going in front of the camera in a move that was, according to her, an act of empowerment.
Clothes were not the only thing Lovato shed in the shoot, however. She also made sure the photos received absolutely no filtering or retouching before they were put into the magazine, and Demi wore no makeup in the pictures. The fact that the photos and their subject are all 100 percent natural and unblemished by enhancers gives them a raw feel that is virtually unheard-of in modern fashion spreads.
“I want to show the side of me that’s real, that’s liberated, that’s free,” Lovato told Ecclesine.
“What if we do a photo shoot where it’s totally raw? Super-sexy, but no makeup, no fancy lighting, no retouching, and no clothing. Let’s do it here, let’s do it now,” Demi said.
According to Mic, the foray is the first nude photoshoot ever for Demi.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Lovato claims that the all-natural excursion was meant as a sort of statement to promote feminist empowerment and fight the body-shaming haters Demi faced.
“I would have never thought that I would have ever gotten to a place in my life where I could feel comfortable doing that. It’s empowering, and it shows other women that you can get to a place where you can overcome the obstacles of body-image issues.”
“I learned that you can get to a place where you love the skin you’re in, and I’m excited to share that with the world,” Lovato said.
This may at first seem like a very inspired, original, and bold move by Demi, but it is extremely similar to the recent campaign by her fellow pop star and friend-since-childhood, Selena Gomez.
It was just this September that Gomez submitted herself to a nude photoshoot meant as a statement of self-confidence and body empowerment. Like Lovato is doing now, Selena claimed she was making a stand against body-shamers.
The photos were “stunning and a beautiful representation of where I’m at,” Gomez said in an interview with Ryan Seacrest.
It seems that Lovato is not only mimicking Gomez on the anti-body-shaming front, either. Like Selena, Demi is currently in the throes of promoting and album, and, also like in Gomez’s case, Lovato is very likely releasing the confident images in part to promote her forthcoming album.
Indeed, Gomez had been toting her own self-empowering nude shoot to show the world she was ready to bare her truest self on the album she was working on at the time, Revival. And Demi Lovato is more than likely trying to pull exactly the same stunt, as she has an upcoming album literally entitled Confidence to promote.
In an interview about the album, Demi touched on its themes using wording suspiciously similar to her discussion of her own nude photoshoot.
“I have never been confident enough in my own skin to feel sexy. Now that I’m feeling great and I feel confident, I’m proud of the skin that I’m in,” Lovato admitted.
The bottom line is that, realistically, the naked photoshoot Lovato recently partook in was probably mainly meant as an advertising technique for the upcoming Confident and not even a very original technique at that. Gomez, one of Lovato’s best friends, did almost exactly the same thing less than a month ago. And Gomez’s allegedly inspired shoot was grounded in a higher degree of credibility, as Selena had had to deal with a long and quite vicious history of fat-shaming. Although Lovato has occasionally been called out on overeating in the past, she has not had to put up with the struggle Gomez has.
In the past month or so, Lovato has been trying to make it appear she is very invested in her body empowerment message.
It seems more likely, though, that the “he” Demi writes about in the above Instagram post is a disguised reference to Selena Gomez.
None of this is to say that Demi Lovato is ugly or that her recent Vanity Fair photos are not stunning, but only that they may be less inspired than Lovato might have you believe.
[Image via Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for iHeart Media]