Though Desperate Housewives may have ended five years ago, there are still major fans of the show. With stars like Eva Longoria, Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, and Marcia Cross, it's hard to imagine this show ever completely going away.
But one of the standout stars of the show, who no one ever really talks about, is Madison De La Garza. Just six years old when she started on the show, De La Garza was so impressive as a guest role that she was moved to a series regular in the eighth season.
The young actress played Longoria's daughter, Juaita Solis, but because of her weight, she was subjected to a lot of bullying off-screen. She was called a "slut" and "ugly" on social media, despite not even being double digits yet.
"Once you start questioning the reality of vicious words, it’s hard to stop," De la Garza wrote in a personal letter. "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."
"Their opinions turned into my insecurity—and suddenly I was aware of every meal, every outfit, every post on social media," she continued. "However, every day it gets easier to accept myself for me instead of the labels they had put on me."
But one video really sent De La Garza's haters over the edge. She posted a video on social media while cooking with her superstar sister, and people pointed out her back and its irregular shape.
Luckily, when you have a sister who loves you, bullies don't stand a chance.
De La Garza's sister is pop star and actress Demi Lovato, who has never stood for people bullying her sister.
"Last year I got a ton of negative comments after I posted a Vine on Twitter where I was cooking with Demi. People made fun of me, saying I had a hunchback," De La Garza told Seventeen Magazine.
"Demi freaked and direct-messaged people to yell at them, and she tweeted at her followers to stand up for me," she continued. "Sometimes I wish she wouldn't give people attention — I've learned not to — but when people hate on me, she can't really hold back. She's strong and she's a free spirit, and that's what I love about her."
"For anyone telling me to "chill".. The impact bullies have over the internet can lead people to suicide," Lovato wrote on Twitter. "I can handle the b******t. But do NOT f***with my baby sister. I'm all for peace and spreading love UNTIL you go after a 12 YEAR OLD who did NOTHING to you.. So disappointed that after all the conversation about cyber bullying in this world that people would continue to do this to others. @Maddielovesyou1 you are BEAUTIFUL and the most precious little angel in my life and I will always protect you. I LOVE YOU."
Even though people have been harsh on De La Garza, she credits her older sister for being her support system.
"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'," she said. "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."
But while Madison may see Demi as her support, Demi sees Madison as hers.
"If I don’t stop this, I am going to die."
Demi Lovato has been very vocal about her struggles with addiction, admitting that it started when she was a teen.
"I would smuggle it basically and just wait until everyone in first class would go to sleep and I would do it right there," she said in her memoir. "I’d sneak to the bathroom and I’d do it. That’s how difficult it got and that was even with somebody [with me], I had a sober companion, somebody who was watching me 24/7 and living with me [and] I was able to hide it from them as well."
The Confident singer also struggled with eating disorders, which is why she is so defensive of people attacking her sister's looks.
It was always there, but then I just acted on it at around 8 or 9 years old," she said. "I started overeating, compulsively overeating. I would bake cookies and then eat the whole pan. I went from doing that to being unhappy with my body.
I went to just completely starving myself and that turned into throwing up and starving myself and it was just this crazy battle going on inside of me. It got really difficult [and] I would throw up and it would just be blood and it was something that I realized if I don’t stop this, I am going to die.
But it wasn't until her family threatened to take everything away, including her sister, that Demi knew a change needed to happen.
The final [intervention], everyone was like, ‘We are no longer going to leave, we are leaving. That was the moment when I thought, ‘Okay, I really need to get help and get sober.’ This time I knew… I had hit rock bottom and I just needed to do this for myself.
I knew that I had a lot of life ahead of me but one of the main reasons of getting sober was so that I could be around my little sister because my mom and dad [said I couldn’t be around her] if I was doing stuff.
Demi is now six years sober, which means she can see her sister as often as she wants. But according to Madison, it's not all it's cracked up to be.
"I know I can trust her with it all."
Now 16 years old, De La Garza admitted that being a pop-star's sister can be hard, but they still make time for each other.
I think when people say they wish Demi Lovato was their sister, they don't realize how hard it is to be related to someone who's constantly away on tour. But she's good at making time for me. We text constantly, and whenever she sees a funny tweet, she'll screenshot it and send it to our family group message. My phone is constantly going off just from that. When Demi is home, our relationship is just like any sisters'. We get fro-yo and watch the ID channel — we're obsessed — and we talk about anything and everything. I know I can trust her with it all.
And despite being on the road, Demi says her sister has free reign to contact her whenever she needs it.
"I tell Madison to call me as much as possible," Demi revealed. "I want her to come to me with things. I just let her know that I'm always there for her, whether I'm on the other side of the world or I'm next door."
Demi made sure to be in town when her little sister turned 16 in December, and the duo celebrated with a big party and some Cold Stone Creamery.
De La Garza has really made her own path in the entertainment industry, writing her own short film called The Imbalancing Act. She also lent her voice to the film Gnome Alone.
It's so great to see two sisters who have grown up in the public eye be so confident in not only themselves, but also each other. Going through bullying and addiction while the world watches can't be easy, but knowing they have a solid support system must make all the difference.