In a world where you can Tweet your favorite celebrity and they’ll reply, there is no higher aspiration for the average fan than the meet and greet. Meet and greets— for singers anyway— occur backstage before a concert. They allow you a brief amount of time to say hello to your idol and get your picture taken together. It’s a cute concept, one that’s importance increases tenfold with someone like Demi Lovato.
Demi has been incredibly open about her struggles with bipolar disorder, an eating disorder, drug and alcohol addiction, self-harm, and more. She’s taken her journey and made a lesson out of it, a sign that you’re not alone and can make it out like she has. It’s a unique sort of bond between a singer and her fans (known alternatively as Lovatics and Demi Stans), one most other artists don’t have. Sure, other singers and bands have helped their fans get through tough times, but the Lovato/Lovatic connection has yet to be replicated. It’s a deep bond born out of struggle and strengthened by perseverance.
This makes the meet and greet more than just a chance to meet a favorite star— it’s a chance to thank the person who helped change your life. However, in recent years, this has become a problem on several fronts.
Firstly, some fans have used their meet and greet to tell Demi they were going to kill themselves before they got this chance or show her their self-harm scars. For years, this has been an extremely intense experience for Demi. Often triggered by such revelations, she used to meditate after the night’s meet and greet was over.
A line has been crossed when this happens. It’s one thing to tell her she helped you overcome your struggles, but it’s an entirely different issue if you treat her like your therapist. At that point, she ceases to be a person and becomes a commodity. And so, one wonders, have meet and greets been shortened so people won’t have time to tell her these explicit things?
Because that, of course, is the second issue— meet and greets have become too short. Some report hardly having any time to even thank her. Why shell out all that money for just the ten seconds it takes the camera to flash?
If the reason meet and greets have been shortened is because fans were being too graphic, then Demi should be open about that with her fans. A little transparency goes a long way. If that’s not why, then Demi and her team should take a look at scheduling. It would hurt nothing to give people a minute each. If it would, then the meet and greets should start sooner or less packages should be sold. To me, that seems the most elegant solution.
This situation is difficult because there are rather sensitive people on both sides. Demi, as much as she strives for it to be otherwise, is still easily rattled. On the other side, so are Lovatics. In many ways, it’s what drew us to her in the first place. So it’s hard to be graceful about this. I just think that both sides are having trouble communicating. As silly as it sounds, a little communication would be the most effective way to solve all of this.
And all this is to say, I think there’s blame on both sides for where we’ve ended up. Whenever a fan didn’t enjoy their meet and greet experience, drama abounds. Inevitably, someone tags Demi in the rashest posts and she sees them. Then she gets upset. It’s a frustrating cycle that isn’t going to change unless a channel is opened up for communication. Until we get that, things will stay as they are.
And if Lovatics get meet and greets canceled before I get my chance, there’s going to be hell to pay.