There's a meme about Demi Lovato making the rounds on Tumblr at the moment. Some might even call it a truther theory. I, for one, would call it a truther theory. I might even call it the single greatest truther theory I've stumbled across since Jade Helm 15. What I'm trying to say is that Poot Lovato is the one true Jade Helm. Jade Helm is dead. Jade Helm died so Poot Lovato could live. Long live Poot Lovato.
As far as I can tell, the saga of Poot began on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015. On that day—the Lord's day—a 21-year-old person name Tom, who goes by the name "cstcrpt" on Tumblr, posted a photo of Demi Lovato to their page. The image looks like it might be a screen shot of low-quality paparazzi footage. In it, Demi is totally washed out by the cameras flashing all around her. The effect makes her look slightly unlike herself, as if she might be an imposter.
Underneath the photo, Tom's text reads:
Demi’s twin sister. She was locked in a basement her whole life. This picture was taken the first time she went outside. Her name is Poot.
And thus, Poot was born.
Tom's Tumblr post has since been reblogged over and over and over, and it presently has over 72 thousand notes on it. Poot's first Twitter mention came on Oct. 11, the date of her birth. The tweet came courtesy of person named Nathan, who wrote that he was "howling at this Poot Lovato story."
On Oct. 12, a Twitter user—who had previously mostly only tweeted about British singer Estelle and a mobile game called Subway Surfers—began tweeting as @OfficialPoot. I doubt that the handle is run by Tom—almost as much as I doubt that it's run by Poot, herself—but I reached out to her about her future plans anyway.
I have yet to hear back.
Within days, the commenters on pop music fan forum ATRL began discussing the Poot Lovato meme, debating whether she is iconic (yes) and whether her debut album will "slay Demi's career." How long until Poot's influence spreads beyond the internet and into the real world? The signs are clear: Poot cannot be contained.
At some point in the last week, somebody even created a Wikipedia page for Poot Lovato. A link to the page still pops up among the search results when you Google "poot lovato." An excerpt from the article ("Poot is Demi Lovatos two-dimensional sister who has been in captivity for sixty-three years. She has recently been freed from the basement. Even though, she …") does, too. But the link leads to a blank Wikipedia page titled "Poot Lovato" that says: "This page is protected from creation so only administrators can create it."
Protected? What are they trying to hide? How far does this thing go? Am I through the looking glass? Is Poot Lovato the red pill? Should I drink of my sisters and take into myself all the powers of Poot Lovato?
A young woman named Kayley Marie Todd breathed new life into the legend of Poot Sunday night when she published the first chapter of The Secret Life of Poot Lovato on self-publishing site Wattpad. Per the story's description:
She wasn't born cool for the summer, so they locked her up in the basement thinking she would rot there. How wrong they were when they found out that she lived a secret life down there… and what a life! Oh, I forgot to introduce her to you. Her name is Poot.
The Secret Life… expands the Poot canon to explain how the girl from the meme came to be locked in a basement, what her relationship with Demi is like, and what she plans to do now that she's free. It also reveals that Poot's full name is Pootrida. It racked up nearly 15 thousand reads in its first 24 hours alone.
"I wrote the story because Poot intrigued me," Todd told me in a direct message on Wattpad. "How could Demi possibly look like that in a picture? She's a good-looking girl, but that one photo… Wow, it can't be her."
To call the picture unflattering would play into many fucked-up paradigms related to compulsory beauty ideals and the gendered expectations that our culture levels disproportionately on women. But also, come on. Demi Lovato is obviously a super beautiful person who is easily more attractive than anyone I have met or ever will meet; there are plenty of gorgeous professional photos and magazine covers bearing her face that make that point abundantly clear. So, for the sake of time, be your own problematic fav and let's agree that this is an unflattering picture of Demi Lovato.
Todd clarified that she is "a fan" of Demi's and that the work is not intended to be mean-spirited in nature. "I have bought all her albums, and I would never make fun of her," the author told me. Poot, Todd explained, represents Demi Lovato's dark side, and The Secret Life… casts her as responsible for many of the unsavory tabloid rumors attached to the "Cool for the Summer" singer's name.
"There are always rumors about celebs doing nasty things," Todd said, "and in this story I'm blaming it all on Poot!"
One of the rumors that Todd references is the story about Demi Lovato flicking a fan's vagina at a meet and greet, which originated from a TwitLonger post written late last year. Along with flicking her vagina, the fan claimed that the singer also called her "fat," started "speaking whale" to her, and whispered "obesity" in her ear. Demi was forced to publicly deny the (obviously untrue) rumor after mainstream media outlets picked up the story.
In The Secret Life…, it's Poot who is responsible for the vagina-flicking incident—not Demi. Poot is also revealed to be responsible for sending out those (obviously Photoshopped) Demi Lovato snaps that contained bullying messages like "Not today Fatty" and "Ur fucking fat."
Again, these snaps are obviously altered. The one on the left was sent by MTV's official Snapchat account back in 2014, sans text.
Eight chapters of The Secret Life… have been published thus far, and Todd said that she plans to release 12 in total. She also told me that "a sequel will definitely follow." In the meantime, Poot stans can check out Todd's other work: a four-part piece of Ariana Grande fan fiction titled Ariana Grande and the Power of Daddy's Credit Card.
What are we to make of Todd's passion of the Poot?
One way to analyze this good Demi/evil Demi dichotomy is by examining the elements of sexism that stan culture hath wrought, particularly the ways in which it is capable of dehumanizing female pop stars. Another way is to not analyze it at all because it's a story about Demi Lovato's made-up twin sister named Poot. But read too far into The Secret Life of Poot Lovato I shall.
Often, pop music listeners only allow these women to exist in a rigid, sexist binary: they slay or they flop. If a Demi Lovato fan believes that Demi Lovato slays, then it is imperative that Demi Lovato must never flop. How can Demi Lovato slay if Demi Lovato flops? But to flop is human, and so Demi's flop moments must be scapegoated elsewhere—to a flopping girl, if you will.
But does Demi Lovato—whose fifth studio album, Confident, dropped last Friday—recognize the existence of Poot? I reached out to her rep at Hollywood Records* to see if the meme had made its way onto the singer's dash. I haven't heard back. That's not a yes, but I guess that's not technically a no?
Where will the Poot Lovato saga take us next? I'm not really sure. Poot contains multitudes, and she will, no doubt, reveal each and every one of them in due time. I'm certain of it. Confident, even. And what's wrong with being confident? Thus spake Demi herself.
*Demi Lovato is an artist signed to Hollywood Records, Inc., an imprint of Disney Music Group, which is owned by the Walt Disney Company. The Walt Disney Company also owns ABC, which is a parent copmany of Fusion.
Bad at filling out bios seeks same.