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Why Demi Lovato's Song 'Melon Cake' Is the Eating Disorder Anthem We Needed

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Editor's Note

If you live with an eating disorder, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “NEDA” to 741741.

Demi Lovato celebrated their recent 29th birthday in a big way — by releasing a new music video that’s also a nod to their eating disorder recovery.  This past Friday, August 20, Lovato premiered their music video for “Melon Cake,” a track off their April 2021 album, “Dancing With The Devil… The Art of Starting Over.”  The powerful song delves into Lovato’s difficult relationship with food, referencing the years their team forced them to eat “watermelon cake” on their birthday instead of a traditional, iced birthday cake.

The “Melon Cake” music video opens with a shot of Lovato standing alongside their younger self at a bakery counter, perusing a variety of delicious cakes.  Demi stands hand-in-hand with the child version of themselves, pointing out each confection and seemingly encouraging their wide-eyed younger self to choose something.  Young Demi smiles radiantly, bouncing excitedly as 29-year-old Lovato confidently purchases them a cake.  The scene is an awe-inspiring start to the video, but it’s especially meaningful to those who, like Lovato, battle eating disorders.

For those whose eating disorders developed at a young age, the “Melon Cake” music video may resonate as they work to make peace with their younger selves, but the song serves as an incredible reminder of the freedom recovery can provide anyone with an eating disorder.  Throughout the song, Lovato references the control their eating disorder had over them, describing the feeling of “living as a prisoner inside my own mind” and even alluded to their eating disorder thoughts making them “wish [they] don’t exist.” But the song soon swells into a contrastingly danceable chorus, declaring Lovato’s freedom from the food rules that nearly broke them down.

Lovato’s giddy declaration that they will have “no more melon cakes on birthdays” is certainly catchy, but it’s anthemic for anyone who’s struggled to enjoy their favorite foods, particularly as they’ve celebrated holidays or milestones.  For someone who’s spent years fighting off eating disorder thoughts, it’s tempting to spend birthdays and other holidays fixating on “fear foods” instead of recognizing how much they have to celebrate — and that those foods that currently provoke their ED thoughts won’t harm them.  But Lovato’s “Melon Cake” is also a reminder to all people with eating disorders that self-deprivation has lasting effects — it may  block out joy and complicate interpersonal relationships, and it can even trap us in patterns we (and by extension, our younger selves) will spend years reckoning with later.  Moreover, the track powerfully expresses that we don’t need to revert back to old patterns — and reassures us that when we break the molds our eating disorders force us into, we can find freedom and peace.

If you’re living with an eating disorder, Demi Lovato’s “Melon Cake” serves as an empowering reminder that recovery is possible — and that in recovery, you may rediscover the joy you once found in food.  The “Melon Cake” music video powerfully bridges the joy Lovato’s younger self feels with the freedom Lovato has found in their own recovery and provides hope that we can do the same.  “Melon Cake” is more than just another irritatingly catchy pop song — it’s a recovery anthem that triumphantly urges us to break free from the confines of our eating disorders — and to enjoy our cake, no matter the occasion.


Lead image courtesy of Demi Lovato’s YouTube channel

Originally published: August 24, 2021
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