"When I was growing up and when I was a pre-teen, the people that I had to look up to [for] body image [were] extremely underweight … [They] were all very bony at that time and that was the in thing," Lovato, 22, told "Access Hollywood" on Thursday.
These days, her idols -- and she's hoping those of her cohort -- are anything but stick-thin. "I really credit women like Beyonce and Kim Kardashian… [they] completely revolutionized what our generation's view of perception of what beautiful is and I really think that they had a huge impact on that," Lovato explained.
"You can think whatever you want about the Kardashians, but they really did help tons of women feel comfortable in their own skin and I like to carry that message on."
Kardashian and Lovato first met at the White House Correspondents' Assn. Dinner in 2010 and have stayed in touch ever since. Around the same time they became friends, Lovato was admitted to rehab for physical and emotional issues. Once the singer-songwriter left rehab, she admitted to struggling with bipolar disorder, drug addiction and bulimia.
Lovato's issue with bulimia is long gone. And while she stayed strong (her mantra to her Lovat-ics), she's grateful to fellow celebrities who've carried a healthy body image.
"Look at J.Lo, look at Scarlett Johansson, Sophia Vergara, Beyonce –- who I don't really consider human, she is more like a goddess –- they have amazing figures; it's more realistic and achievable."
Now Lovato, who is gearing up for a world tour with Christina Perri and MKTO, is able to revisit the past and understand why she felt the way she did.
When asked about the recent photo montage she posted on Facebook featuring herself over the years at the VMAs, Lovato admitted that her feelings on the inside didn't reflect those on the outside.
"The very first time that I ever went to the VMAs and I just looked so bony and fragile and unhappy. Yes, I was at the VMAs and I was 16 and I was having an incredible time, but at the same time I was miserable."
"I look back at that and I think, 'You know what? I may have been thinner, but I am so happy that I am healthy today and I have curves which are a lot more sexier than what I was aiming for,' " she said.