The singer, 25, said Monday that she decided to share photos of her cellulite and stretch marks last week to fight through a vulnerable moment.
“I was on Instagram and I started comparing myself to these Instagram models and I just thought to myself, someone needs to show my fans and anybody that’s looking at my account that what you see isn’t always what’s real,” Lovato told E! News. “And so, I decided to embrace my flaws and — I don’t even like to call them flaws, it’s just a part of who I am — and show the world that I’m imperfect, but that’s what makes me beautiful.”
In a series of four photos on her Instagram story, Lovato posted that she has “no thigh gap” and “extra fat” along with pictures of her cellulite and stretch marks.
After a long battle with disordered eating and bulimia, Lovato said in January that she’s done with dieting and “food shaming” herself, though she added to PEOPLE it’s still a tough journey to fully embracing her body.
“It’s a daily battle. Some days I feel great and some days I don’t feel great. And sometimes it’s periods of times,” she told PEOPLE. “I stopped dieting and have gained a little weight so it’s been a struggle but at the same time, I’m happier because I’m not restricting myself from certain foods and I’m no longer food shaming myself.”
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Lovato told E! News that she’s frustrated with the continued obsession with dieting.
“I think that dieting is something that we’ve been forced to kind of do because of the diet culture,” she said. “We’re praised if we don’t eat fried chicken and we eat a salad. It’s like, sometimes that’s what you want and it’s okay to treat yourself every once in a while.”
Now she’ll happily indulge her sweet tooth — Lovato said her favorite desserts are from the West Coast bakery SusieCakes — in between tucking into healthy meals that her nutritionist whips up while she’s on tour.
And Lovato advised anyone who is suffering from low self-esteem to find things that make them happy.
“What I would say to somebody who’s struggling right now, is try to find the gratitude,” she said. “It’s so important that you try to find gratitude in your life and focus on the positive things and when you’re able to do that, or you’re able to help others, you’re able to get outside of yourself and you’re able to look at your life from a different perspective. Sometimes it’s really challenging and it’s really difficult, but it’s something that helps me every day, and so far it’s worked.”