Pop star Demi Lovato’s actress sister Madison De la Garza has opened up about the cyberbullying she experienced when she was just six years old, confessing the unkind words made her feel hurt and insecure.
Similar to her superstar sibling, De la Garza rose to fame at a young age having landed the role of Eva Longoria’s onscreen daughter in hit U.S. TV drama Desperate Housewives in 2008.
She decided to join Twitter.com to connect with fans of the show, but the actress, now 13, admits the nasty tweets she received greatly affected her life.
In an essay for Latina magazine, she writes, “There will never be an acceptable excuse for the cruelty that takes place on the Internet. Imagine being called ‘fat,’ ‘ugly,’ or even ‘slut’ by someone you’ve never even met. Now imagine reading those words at only six years old… I had watched how easy it was for my older sister, Demi Lovato, to make someone’s day with just a simple tweet, and I’d thought, ‘Maybe I can do that too!’ It didn’t quite work out that way. Some people blamed my cyberbullying experience on the fact that I shouldn’t have even owned a Twitter account because I was too young and couldn’t handle the mean words. However, at 13 years old, I still feel just as hurt…”
“Once you start questioning the reality of vicious words, it’s hard to stop. No matter how strong you are, repetition inevitably takes its toll on you. At an extremely young age, I started to think maybe the cruel voices were right… Like Demi told me, ‘At the end of the day, what others say about you doesn’t matter. What matters is how you cope with it and how you come out on the other side.’ You are the only person who has to love you. After all, you only get one body – other people’s opinions shouldn’t interfere with the love you have for it.”