Young men and women are waiting outside Fabletics in Plano's Legacy West. The line wraps around the surrounding buildings. Some have been waiting since the wee hours of the morning, hoping their early arrival will improve their chances of meeting their idol, pop star Demi Lovato.
The Texas native visited the store Saturday afternoon to promote her new workout line in partnership with the athleisure brand. She’s inside talking to press while her fans mingle and wait for the doors to open. When they do, they'll get to meet Lovato — if they buy $50 in Fabletics merchandise.
Lovato’s fans are not children anymore. They're young adults who have grown up with Lovato. They are spending their own money and making their own decisions.
Valerie Gossett, 24, and Shayla Stone, 21, are the first two in line. They showed up at 4 a.m.
“My parents used to record her episodes of Barney,” Stone says. “So I feel like I’ve grown up with her. I’m a suicidal person, so her words have helped me. She’s one of us. I just think she’s phenomenal.”
Lovato has been outspoken about depression, anxiety, bullying and eating disorders, which she has experienced both in and out of the spotlight. Lovato says her workout line looks good on all body types. She encourages everyone to work out because of its mental health benefits.
“It was really when I started to address my mental health issues [that] it started to become second nature to me,” she says. “I realized that it helped my mind more so than it was helping anything else. I mean, it was obviously helping my stamina and my body, but my mind is really the most impactful thing that made a difference.”
Lovato knows how difficult it is to make the first step toward the gym when managing depression or anxiety. She says 80 percent of working out is just putting on your shoes and getting to the gym.
“If you can do that, then once you’re there, you’re most likely going to work out and do it,” she says. “It’s just a matter of making it a priority and making sure you go to bed on time so you can get up in the morning to go work out.”
Brittany Castaneda, 23; Trinity Wilson, 20; and Susannah Lerch, 19; were next in line to meet Lovato. Castaneda was there alone and met Wilson and Lerch while waiting.
Wilson says Lovato’s faith impresses her the most.
“Did you see her on Snapchat?” she asks Castaneda and Lerch. “She was praying with her band before a show. I just love that she’s so grounded in her faith and that she trusts God.”
For Lerch, it’s Lovato’s body confidence.
“We all struggle with self-esteem,” Lerch says, “but to have a million cameras pointed at you all the time and then people constantly Photoshopping you, I’m sure that’s hard.”
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Lovato’s body confidence is a main factor in her Fabletics line, she says.
“I think that it’s awesome that we get to make clothing that looks great on everybody and it makes you feel good, too,” Lovato says. “The materials, everything, the cuts of the clothing is awesome. And I just love that a portion of the proceeds go to Girl Up [a United Nations foundation aimed at helping girls transform their communities], which is a very empowering initiative.”
If someone you know exhibits warning signs for suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8233.