The former Disney star and current X Factor judge recently chatted with us about her past struggles with bullying and how she’s turning the bad experience into something positive.
Keep reading to see what other secrets Demi told us…
JJJ: Congrats on being Mean Stinks newest ambassador! Because you’ve been personally affected by bullying, were you excited to take on this new role?
DL: Yes! They actually came to me and were like, ‘Hey, would you like to be part of this? We know this is something close to your heart…’ And of course I was like ‘Absolutely!’ I’m really thankful that they asked me, because it’s opened my eyes even more to how many people bullying is affecting and how many people are being inspired by this program to really go out and make a difference in their schools and not just talk about it, but actually work towards.
JJJ: For those that aren’t as familiar with your story, can you share some of the struggles you faced as a middle schooler?
DL: Well, I was bullied growing up and it got so bad that I started being home schooled. I think a lot of it had to do with just the interaction that us girls can have when we’re that young and we’re all insecure and people start gossiping.
JJJ: Did you ever find yourself gossiping as a way of trying to fit in?
DL: You know, I’m not saying that I’m completely innocent either. I’d be lying if I said I never gossiped back then, but it’s very important to try to encourage a message now to not get involved in gossip or spread rumors and be involved in drama. I think that’s what led to the bullying and things like that. Of course it got out of control and that’s why I started home schooling.
JJJ: Seeing how you were bullied at such a young age, who did you turn to for help when you were going through everything?
DL: My mom. I got through it because she encouraged me to just turn the other cheek. It was so hard to do at first and I really didn’t want to do it, but you know after experiencing people trying to get a reaction from you, if you don’t give in to that then they don’t get any satisfaction from it. If they know they can’t hurt you anymore then they won’t do it.
JJJ: We heard your peers would write hate petitions and have CD-bashing parties of your demos. That’s not true is it?
DL: It is. I think it happened when I was 11-years-old. I found out one day after they all called me and told me about it. I’d get these voicemails that said things like, ‘You suck at singing!’ and then they’d tell me about the parties they had where they’d make fun of my songs and break a bunch of my demo CDs [for fun].
JJJ: That sounds so hurtful!
DL: Looking back now, it just seems immature and silly, but back then it really hurt me because I was young and had really low self-esteem. You know I was dealing with stuff like that and it just wasn’t easy back then.
JJJ: Despite all the hardships you went through growing up, you’ve become such a positive role model and we love seeing you as a judge on The X Factor! How would you describe each of your fellow judges in one word?
DL: Thanks! Hmmm… I would say that Britney is quirky or funny, L.A. is smooth, and for Simon I would say old! (Laughs)
JJJ: If you were auditioning for the show, what song would you sing?
DL: It wouldn’t be Mary J. Blige‘s “I’m Going Down.” It would not be Bruno Mars‘ “Grenade,” and it wouldn’t be one of Britney‘s songs. I don’t know, maybe I’d sing a Christina Aguilera or Kelly Clarkson song.
JJJ: Nice, so you definitely wouldn’t hold anything back if you were trying out then?
DL: I’d want to showcase my vocals and attitude at the same time!
JJJ: Do you think someone on your team’s going to win?
DL: I know someone from my team’s going to win! I have the best category and I’m so excited about it! I have a lot of confidence in the group that I have.
JJJ: Is there any chance you and Britney would ever collaborate on a song together?
DL: I would love to! That would be so exciting. There’s nothing planned, but I’m putting it out there!
JJJ: Nick Jonas was recently your guest mentor on The X Factor. Are you looking forward to his and his brothers’ new music?
DL: Yeah, I’m really excited! I can’t wait to hear it and support it. We’ve been through a lot together. We met when I was 14-years-old, so after being friends for so long, it’s just nice to see where we both are at this point in our lives. I’ll always support them and I’ll always be happy for them.
JJJ: Speaking of music, what can fans expect on your upcoming album?
DL: I’m having so much fun writing the music right now! I just wrote two songs this past week that are lighthearted and funnier.
JJJ: So your new tracks will be a bit on the comedic side?
DL: They have some funny lyrics, but great beats so you don’t really notice at first and will be like, ‘Wait, did she just say that?’ (Laughs)
JJJ: We can’t wait to hear them! How does this album compare to your past ones?
DL: I think this album is going to be a lot better. I’m trying to stay away from the dubstep and dance music because I just want to bring instruments back into the picture when it comes to pop radio. I want people to really enjoy my music because it’s actually music.
JJJ: Recently, everyone’s been linking you to One Direction’s Niall Horan. Who would you say your celeb crush is at the moment?
DL: (Laughs) My celebrity crush right now… I’m in love with Channing Tatum! He’s so cute! He actually lives in the same city that I do in Texas, or he did, so when I first met his wife Jenna we were able to talk about that. It was pretty cool. So yeah, he’s adorable and I’m really glad he has a cute wife!
JJJ: That’s so sweet! Do you have a favorite One Direction track?
DL: The one that’s like (sings) ‘Get out, get out…’ I don’t know what it’s called, but that one, yeah.
JJJ: You’ve spoken a lot about wanting to be single right now, but do you have any advice for fans who always get first date jitters?
DL: I mean it’s hard, because when you really like someone there’s not much you can do when your hands get sweaty and you get nervous. You know there’s been times when no matter how long I’ve been with a person it’s not just the first date jitters that I get – I get them like two years later!
JJJ: That can be a good thing though.
DL: Yeah, it’s a great thing! So you should just be yourself and have fun [when going on a first date] and use extra deodorant (laughs) and make sure your nose doesn’t have anything in it!
JJJ: Thanks so much for chatting with us!
DL: Thank you!
Interviewed by: Morgan McMurrin (@MorganMcMurrin)