Seventeen: The Pressure to Be Perfect

Demi Lovato speaks out about her breakdown, and the pressure she felt to be perfect. And she’s not alone. 74% of you said you feel the same way, and some of you are opening up about it.

Before rehab, Demi Lovato spent all of her time and energy trying to live up to the huge expectations she’s set for herself. But like for so many girls, pretending everything was fine only made things worse.

She’d been struggling with depression since she was a kid, and later started cutting herself, starving herself, or bingeing and purging. As the pressure cooker of her life began to boil over, Demi returned to those destructive behaviors. She felt constant anxiety about looking thin, pretty and poised every time she stepped outside. It got so intense that she blew up and punched on of her dancers on tour.

Demi says, “I basically had a nervous breakdown. I was really bad off. My parents and manager pulled me aside and said, ‘You need to get some help.’ It was an intervention. I wanted freedom from the inner demons. I wanted to start my life over.”

Pick up the May issue of Seventeen for the rest of Demi’s story.


Seventeen teamed up with Yahoo for a survey, and found out:

74% of teen girls and young women feel the pressure to be “perfect.”
81% of teen girls feel overwhelmed by life.
35% of teen girls have been so depressed that they don’t want to hang out with friends.
15% of young women have physically hurt themselves on purpose.


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