‘Do better please:’ Demi Lovato kickstarts an online debate about frozen yogurt and eating disorders

David Matos, Associate Arts and Life Editor

Singer Demi Lovato is “sorry not sorry” for speaking up about a Los Angeles frozen yogurt shop.

The Bigg Chill has an abundance of sugar-free and dietary items that provoked the singer. Lovato has been candid with her past addictions and history with eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia. 

Frozen yogurt is particularly personal to her —  it’s often advertised as having reduced calories and being beneficial for dietary purposes, contributing to her harmful eating practices. The dispute began when Lovato exposed the frozen yogurt shop on her Instagram story.

“Finding it extremely hard to order froyo from @thebiggchillofficial when you have to walk past tons of sugar free cookies/other diet foods before you get to the counter,” Lovato wrote. “Do better please.”

Demi Lovato found offense in The Bigg Chill’s ‘guilt free’ marketing. (Instagram)

Her rant didn’t end there. Lovato made a second story defending her creation of the hashtag, “Diet Culture Vultures.” 

“So I think I’m gonna have to make that hashtag a thing,” the ex-Disney star wrote. “I will be calling harmful messaging from brands or companies that perpetuate a society that not only enables but praises disordered eating.”

Lovato posted direct messages on her story between her and The Bigg Chill. The shop defended its products and expressed how the star’s assumption that they are “diet vultures” simply isn’t true. She then accused the small business of “making excuses,” and that it does not provide an alluring experience for people with different needs such as those with diabetes, vegan diets or eating disorders. 

The singer proceeded to make suggestions to the brand on how it can be more inclusive with its products. Lovato proposed that it should label its products more transparently as the messaging can be misleading. Clearer labeling on food products can help customers easily differentiate between what products meet their specific needs. 

Lovato received a slew of negative responses following her public debacle. Most believed that she should have exposed the culture of diet vultures without targeting a specific local business to her millions of followers. Some believed she was being self-centered and a bully. Many people on Twitter proceeded to make fun of the situation by posting harmful remarks in the spirit of dark humor to an already vulnerable Lovato.

The Bigg Chill posted a photo to their Instagram account that has since been deleted. The post showcased a display of baked goods with the branding “Eat Me Guilt Free,” which the singer used to her benefit. Lovato once again took to her Instagram story to further defend her stance as well as to express how she felt about all of the negative feedback she received. 

“This screams diet culture and I won’t be gaslit by the media or anyone else that says otherwise,” Lovato wrote on her Instagram story adjacent to the controversial photo. “I don’t need to feel guilt free about eating anything. This was what I was talking about this is directly from their own page. @thebiggchillofficial.”

Lovato posted an eight-minute video of her apologizing for how she initially responded to her experience at the frozen yogurt shop on her Instagram. She still believes in her viewpoint against the harmful branding of sugar-free and diet products that led her to call out The Bigg Chill. However, she acknowledges that she should’ve handled the whole situation differently. Lovato also gave a brief history of her personal relationship with addiction and eating disorders.

“Overcoming my addictions, my drug addictions, was because I can walk away from that and never touch it again for the rest of my life,” Lovato said. “But I have to eat three times a day. This is something that will be with me for the rest of my life. I left that yogurt store and didn’t get the yogurt that I wanted,” she continued. “And then I had a hard time the rest of the weekend, to be totally transparent and that’s probably something that nobody wants me to say, but I’m human and I talk about my struggles and I’m passionate. So, I’m sorry that I got the messaging wrong. I’m sorry that I may have disappointed some people.”

Despite all the backlash, the star earned some support from fans.

“People trying to cancel demi lovato for lashing out at a trigger to her illness even after she apologized for her approach is the reason why cancel culture is a whole joke, y’all should be worrying about actual discriminatory problematic celebs, it’s embarrassing,” @theartofdems, a Demi Lovato fan account, wrote on Twitter. 

Eating disorders are a serious issue that should be taken seriously. If you or a friend struggle with an eating disorder and are seeking help you can contact the National Eating Disorder Association’s (NEDA) helpline. They are available weekdays to chat, text or call. For crisis situations, you can text “NEDA” to 741741 to get into contact with a Crisis Text Line volunteer.