Jane Fonda is applauding Demi Lovato for living their truth. In a new interview on Lovato’s 4D With Demi Lovato podcast, the Oscar winner got emotional when Lovato explained why they had to start living for them after their near-fatal drug overdose in 2018.
“There was a voice inside of me that said, ‘You’re not living, and if you don’t start living your life for you, it’s going to be your demise.’ So I woke up and I thought, ‘You know what, I’m going to live my truth, and no matter who it scares — no matter who in the patriarchy it shakes — I’m going to live my truth for me,’” Lovato explained of the harrowing experience that urged them to not only come out as non-binary but shed the gender norms that held them, which for Lovato involved cutting their hair to a short, pixie cut.
Fonda began to get emotional hearing Lovato’s story and praised them for their bravery and for coming out of that experience with that realization.
“What you’re saying is so brave. It’s so, so brave, I wish I could hug you right now. I’m so glad to hear you say all this, Demi,” a tearful Fonda said. “I’m just so proud of you and I’m so glad, and I admire it so much. I’m so glad that you came out of that because I’ve seen the documentary, that you came out of that with that realization and that you’re finding your real truth and it’s just wonderful. It’s just wonderful.”
“You gave me full body chills,” Lovato shared. “That means everything coming from you.”
Fonda has taken her own journey to figuring out who she is, identifying the patriarchy and her relationships with men as something that held her back throughout her life.
“I should win Oscars for how I can become whatever the man wants me to be. And I went through three marriages like that. But I always knew that this isn’t really who I am,” she told Lovato of the realization she reached after hitting 60. “I finally was single and I started to become who I was meant to be. But it takes work, as you know well. It doesn’t just happen, it takes work and it’s hard to know where to go if you don’t know where you’ve been. So I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what had gone wrong earlier on so that I wouldn’t keep making the same mistakes. And it just gets better, the older I get. Isn’t that weird? It’s not what I expected at all.”
Lovato, who was engaged to singer Max Ehrich last year, said their life today is much different than they had originally planned, but maintained that they are much happier for it.
“That is me all the way. I was engaged to a man last year. And I thought that my life today would look very different but now I have an inch of hair and new pronouns and I’m single and living in the most colorful queer house that I could’ve ever imagined for myself. And I’m so happy,” Lovato said. “I tried to shrink myself to make myself more digestible for the rest of the planet. And that’s just not who I am, and that’s not who you are either. And so, yes, if it takes us a while, if it takes time, that’s fine. At least we get it at some point.”
While seen as a face of feminism, Fonda said that she was late to fully envelop herself in the movement because of her inauthentic relationships with men.
“I was always in a marriage…or with lovers,” Fonda shared. “There was always a man. And they weren’t always necessarily authentic relationships, but I always would just twist myself into a pretzel. By the way, I was bulimic the entire time on top of everything else, so it was definitely not authentic. And it’s very hard to be an embodied feminist when you’re in inauthentic relationships. I read all the right books, I knew all the right people, I made movies that were women-centric. I was a feminist in my head.”
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Fonda made the move from being a feminist in her head to a fully embodied feminist after seeing The Vagina Monologues, saying that it was both the sadness and humor of the play that forced her into a moment where she finally got it.
“It has nothing to do with not liking men or anything like it,” Fonda explained of her fully-realized feminism. It has to do with becoming a whole person. Standing on your own two feet and demanding to be seen and cherished and safe. That’s what I realized it was.”
Lovato likened Fonda’s full-body experience to their own, later adding that they’ve realized that they don’t see themselves settling down in a romantic relationship with a man.
“Relationships with men have felt performative for me,” Lovato explained. “They have felt not totally fulfilling and that’s why I don’t see my life settling down with a man anymore.”
For more on Lovato and their relationship history, watch the video below.
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